A DEADLINE has been set for the local community bidding to secure the future of a Chester pub.

The Centurion community pub in Vicars Cross is threatened once again, but locals serving on the committee have come up with a fresh way of saving a facility which has been much appreciated by residents of all ages for seven years.

Both the building and surrounding land in Oldfield Drive are owned by Admiral Taverns, a company which failed in a bid to acquire planning permission for a care home on the land a number of years ago.

After that planning consent rejection, the community rallied round and in September 2016 the pub was reopened under a lease from the owners.

The Centurion Community Action Group Ltd now has the status of a Community Benefit Society (CBS) and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. As a CBS, the pub is committed to trading solely for the benefit of the community.

Chester and District Standard:

Admiral Taverns managers have now shown interest in selling the property to the community company at a markedly reduced price of £600,000 plus VAT for the freehold of the site.

Part of the task in raising that price tag will involve the launch of a Share Offer totalling £175,000 and a concerted bid has now been launched to persuade members of the community and others to join the Share Offer scheme.

There is a guarantee that the money will be returned to prospective shareholders if the organisers fail to reach the total they need.

The Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Sheila Little, was invited to the pub to help spur on contributions to the Share Offer fund. She wished the organisers well.

The Share Offer opened in December 2023 and will close on March 31 this year. Each share will cost £1 and anyone aged 16 and over can invest a minimum of £250 with a maximum stake of £25,000. Any sum less than £250 will be regarded as a donation.

Management committee chair Claire Sinnott said: “The Centurion has successfully completed seven years of trading as a community pub and generated profits to accumulate net assets of £130,000.”

Even during the pandemic, the pub continued to open by using a marquee in the grounds.

However, the Share Offer team leaders have decided to fix a deadline for donations of the end of March.

For details about how to contribute, email TheCenturionShareOffer2023@outlook.com.