Councillor launches appeal to turn ‘very sad’ looking Georges pub into community asset

PUBLISHED: 14:44 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 07 July 2020

Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant

Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant

Archant

A bid to retain and re-develop the former Georges public house in the centre of March has been put forward by former mayor Jan French.

Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant

Cllr French, a town, district and county councillor, is looking to explore options for the “very sad” looking empty public house that could turn it into a community hub.

As the area communities champion for the county council, Cllr French believes the pub – once the George and dating back hundreds of years- is “too important a feature of our town to lose”.

Accepting that it is unlikely to be restored anytime soon as a public house, she wants to look at alternative uses that could see it transformed into a vibrant centre for the community.

“We are in the midst of some very exciting times in March with a major scheme for transforming Broad Street and the Acre yard,” she said.

Councillor Jan French. Picture: ArchantCouncillor Jan French. Picture: Archant

“The rail station buildings are also going to be transformed and a major investment is on the cards for our roads network.

“We have many opportunities for March at the moment and I am determined none of them should be lost.”

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Using the transformation of the town hall into a café and community space as her inspiration, she is looking to see if the potential is there to do something similar for George’s.

Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant

The building is privately owned and Cllr French is asking council officers to find out what the current owners – a privately owned company – intend for it.

If possible, Fenland District Council could be asked to declare it a ‘community asset’ which would give a window of opportunity for the town to look at other options.

“Georges public house is looking very sad; it has been closed for months,” she said.

“Could this be a community asset? Used by the community for the community.”

Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant Councillor Jan French launched an appeal on social media for ideas to turn the empty Georges pub in March High Street into a community asset. Picture: Archant

The building has remained empty since former public Nigel Marsh closed it a year ago after a controversial eight years in charge.

He began his tenure at the pub with a legal argument over former business associates that later led to him being awarded £25,000 compensation from Cambridgeshire Police after he was sprayed with CS gas, handcuffed and removed from his pub.

It ended with a court ordering to pay over £3,000 in fines and costs after admitting food hygiene offences.

Cllr French is accepting suggestions to take her ideas forward: you can email her on: jfrench@fenland.gov.uk


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