Fight to save Godley Hall Inn lost

THE fight to save a centuries-old Hyde pub and keep it as one is over after it was sold Stalybridge property developer.

And people who pledged to buy Godley Hall Inn are receiving their money back.

People living in the area were joined by councillors as they tried to get the building secured as an Asset of Community Value before buying it.

However, the deadline passed and even though the Save Godley Hall Inn action group raised more than £100,000, it was not enough.

The owners sold the property on the open market and fences have already been put up around it as fears grow it will be turned into flats.

Godley Hall Inn

A total of 546 community shares were purchased as they aimed to raise in the region of £300,000, meaning a total of £127,301 was raised.

However the group was defeated but chairman Alex Dempsey remained proud.

He said: “The community share purchasers were not only from the local residents of Godley and Hyde but from far and wide.

“Everyone’s support given in these unprecedented times has been absolutely incredible.

“The community raised £27,301 in the initial community share offer period from a total of 63 investors.

“Whilst we believe this is a great achievement and are proud, based on the average investment value, we would have required a further 240 investors at a rate of 57 a week.

Members of the Save Godley Hall committe joined by local councillors Jim Fitzpatrick & Betty Affleck (taken pre-covid 19)

“Almost six times the investor uptake that exhibited in the first community share offer – we did not think that was achievable.

“It would’ve been extremely unlikely that we secured anywhere near the full amount of the fund available and would still have had a large shortfall.

“The group would like to express a huge thank you that everyone that participated.”

The group is currently refunding any community shares that were bought by people looking to save the Godley Hall Inn.

The pub has been bought by Stalybridge-based Parkland Properties whose owner Dominic Bardsley plans to turn it back into a home.

Landlord and landlady Alan and Sue Hanson were told they had 12 weeks to leave after 18 years’ service as the pub was put up for sale.

Owners Mike Radcliffe and Shaun Donohoe are thought to have made the decision to sell because the pub is not making enough money.

That raised fears it would be bought by a developer and an initial meeting was attended by councillors Jim Fitzpatrick and Betty Affleck while they heard from Rick Clarke, who was part of a scheme that saw the Northumberland Arms, Marple Bridge, bought by the community.

And Cllr Fitzpatrick said at the time: “It’s an old farmhouse that was converted into a pub, so you could turn the pub back into a residential property as that’s what it used to be.

“But you can’t change the fabric of the building and my personal view is I don’t want it to become houses.”

• A small collection of memorabilia from the Godley Hall Inn is available, including books and pictures.

To find out more or aquire any of the items, visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SaveGodleyHall

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