Joule’s Brewery and the Offley Arms Steering Group have announced that the Offley Arms’ future as a public house has been secured.
The Madeley village pub has been closed for 18 months and faced an uncertain future.
Villagers formed an action group in a bid to ensure the rescue of the famous old inn, and its future use as a public house. The group, comprising many local residents, prepared a number of potential routes, including a village buyout, as well as securing the pub as an asset of community value.
Deputy chairman, Graham Fallows, approached Joule’s on behalf of the group and made a case for the local brewer to step in and save the pub.
He said: “We know Joule’s has a fondness for old inns and they are the most local to us. Many of our members know Joule’s and it felt like a good fit. And, of course, it’s our local beer — a local brewer for a local pub. We knew that Joule’s has made several pub investments locally, so we thought maybe they could help save the Offley.
‘We could see a great local community who passionately wanted to see their pub preserved and restored to its original glory’
“We were delighted when they responded to us so warmly and quickly. They showed great interest and moved incredibly quickly when we had almost no time before the property was due to go to auction. We approached Joules on October 15 and seven days later they had bought it.”
Jason Whittaker, Joule’s commercial director, said: “We are delighted to have secured the future of this great looking village pub. It was a bit of a challenge because we had so little time to play with. However, we could see a great local community who passionately wanted to see their pub preserved and restored to its original glory.
“It is a lovely old village pub in the heart of our local area, and we had to respond to that. Pubs are vanishing before our eyes, but they are the beating heart of so many small communities, so we were very happy to step in, and pleased that the steering group chose to put their confidence in us.
“We will now start work with the steering group and look to create the best community pub we can. With the community so engaged, then it makes our job easier. We are really looking forward to the challenge, and the Offley re-opening as soon as possible.”