The following article was originally written by Steve King and published in the October Edition of the Tollerton Village Newsletter.
The Future of the Air Hostess (Part 3)
The aim of this article is two-fold; to present the main findings of the recent survey and then provide updates on recent developments.
Main findings of the recent survey
A highly encouraging final tally of 396 questionnaires were received in response to the recent Community Survey, that requested your comments and thoughts on the future of the Air Hostess.
While the main findings of the recent survey are outlined below, please note that full details of the survey responses can be found on the Tollerton Parish Council(http://www.tollertonparishcouncil.gov.uk/) website.
Of those that completed the survey 95% of respondents (375 of the surveys submitted) are in favour of saving the Air Hostess. This will hopefully add some much-needed weight to the idea of the Parish Council assisting in saving this vital asset for our village. The responses received were from a broad cross section of the community rather than a specific group with approximately a 1/3 of of the respondents falling into each of the 26-45, 46-65 and 65+ age-range categories.
Most of the following questions were multiple choice and so I will present the top 3 answers in each question to give you a flavour of the opinions in the village. The main reasons cited in preventing people visiting the pub were “Food Choice/Quality” (44%, 167 of the surveys submitted), “Customer Service”(37% 140), and “Ambience/Pub Layout” (36%, 137).
In terms of getting more customers to visit the pub, the consensus given by the community was that the following needed improvement; “Better Food” (63%, 230 of the surveys submitted), “Ambience/Pub Layout” (54%, 198) and Customer Service”(47%, 171)
Most people completing the survey suggested that if the pub was saved said they would visit the pub once a week (32%, 127 of the surveys submitted), Occasionally (28%, 114), once a fortnight (17%, 68) or 2-3 times a week (17%, 67).
50% (179 of the 356) of respondents who commented upon the community services the pub should offer, felt that family friendly time/events were important to enable the pub to become more integrated into the heart of the community. Other important services/events suggested were Quiz club/night (37%, 131), more live music (35%, 123) and a function room (27%, 97). These ideas will be taken forward in the planning of the pub should it be successfully purchased for the village.
Food appears to be an important issue and we asked specifically about the catering that the pub should provide in the future. The strongest response was that the pub should provide a high-quality Sunday lunch (56%, 208), a weekday dinner (55%, 202) and/or a Saturday dinner (43%, 132). Other meal times scored less highly but still achieved over 100 responses. This suggests that if the food could be pitched at the right level then it would bring in some much-needed footfall and revenue to support further developments of the pub and possibly other community projects.
72% (270) of people asked felt it was very important for Tollerton to have a pub in walking distance, with the pub ambience set to reflect a village pub, rather than a local boozer or a fine dining establishment.
The last couple of questions asked the public what type of and how much support they would lend to the project. 57% of people that replied to this question gave further details of how their skills and knowledge could enhance our project. If you are reading this and supplied your details you may receive an invite to assist us in due course! I think the most heartening aspect of this question was that 53% (118) of people would be willing to purchase a share in the pub (in return for perks/dividends!) or make a donation to the cause (23%, 53). At the end of the day, our community will need some cold hard cash to make this idea work and so it is gratifying for all of us who have already put many hours into this project to believe that there is financial support waiting should the opportunity to purchase become available.
Finally, 88% (321) of respondents agreed with the idea that the parish council should provide financial support to the pub project.
I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of Andrew Flett of the Community Pub Steering Group for much of the above detail.
Updates about recent developments
Representatives of Community Pub Steering Group are in negotiation with Everards Brewery. This process takes time and is subject to business confidentiality issues but it is ongoing. We will let you know news when we have it but rest assured the Steering Group are minded that the Asset of Community Value order lasts until 15th October 2019, namely 6 months on from the date that Everards Brewery informed Rushcliffe Borough Council of their intention sell the Air Hostess.
The information from the survey informs the development of the Business Plan and the views relating to the way the pub can be managed.
At the start of this article it was noted that a full copy of the survey responses can be found on the Tollerton Parish Council(http://www.tollertonparishcouncil.gov.uk/) website. Additionally it is intended to start communicating with villagers in a more timely manner through Social Media via the Tollerton Parish Council site.
As we seek to put together a viable bit to purchase the pub for the village, the coming months will be used to inform all residents about the share purchase proposal we intend to make. If we are successful in our bid by 15th October 2019 we will then set about raising funds alongside developing a strong business case for the future prosperity of the Air Hostess. Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements on the Parish website or Village newsletter.