Couple step in to save Anchor Inn at Wimblington

PUBLISHED: 15:15 02 December 2015 | UPDATED: 15:15 02 December 2015

Anchor Inn at Wimblington

Anchor Inn at Wimblington

Archant

A couple have stepped in to save a village pub after the brewery applied to turn it into a seven day a week convenience store.

Kevin Frost and his partner Maricela Salazar announced on Facebook that they are: “taking on a new challenge to run The Anchor Inn At Wimblington.

“It comes following the confirmed news that it was due to be sold to Tescos. This prompted me to produce a business plan to save it which I’m happy to say Marston’s plc accepted.

“With the help of Jamie Miller I hope we can build on previous success and warmly welcome customers old and new.”

The new management team plan to open the pub this week with a grand official launch next week.

They decided to step in after Marston’s applied to Fenland District Council to turn the pub into a supermarket with opening hours from 7am to 11pm, just 200 yards from the existing village post office and convenience store, which has been run for the last 12 years by Haj and Bitt Singh who open every day, including Christmas, from 7am to 8pm.

Haj said: “Getting rid of a pub will be a terrible loss for the village plus the impact on our business will be devastating.”

Marston’s said it had applied for permission to sell the pub with permission for a supermarket because: “The Anchor has no passing trade and has suffered more than most during the latest recession.

“The availability of cheap supermarket alcohol influences people to drink more at home and visit the pub less.”

Villagers had begun a fight to run The Anchor Inn at Wimblington as a community asset.

Ashley Stevenson, chairman of the campaign group STAY (Save the Anchor - Yes!), said they managed to sign up enough people to submit an application to register it as a community asset. There needs to be 21 in support, and the group had 24 members.

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