New social club and bar planned for YateleyBy Laura Nightingale
February 28, 2013
THE tender process to find a new licensee to run the bar at Yateley Village Hall has closed and a bidder has been chosen.
Marc Hoy, founding director of Whippet N Cider Company, will move into the premises in Old School Lane next month and is expected to re-open the facility at the start of April.
Former leaseholders Yateley Social Club moved out of the building last November owing more than £30,000 of debts, and for the last three months the bar has only been used for private parties.
Yateley Village Hall management committee chose Mr Hoy as the new licensee at a meeting on February 18 and said they were pleased the bar would be up and running again for the community.
Peter Witney, chairman of the village hall committee, said: “It is very good to see it opening again. Since the end of last year we had to get a temporary team in to run the bar for different functions.”
Yateley Town Council owns the hall and the tender process, which closed on February 1, saw four businesses show an interest in running the bar.
Andy Whitaker, fellow committee member and mayor of Yateley, said: “The manage-ment committee is thrilled they have found someone who will effectively pay the rent for that area and carry on the business.
“We are looking forward to the bar area to be recovered for the benefit of the community. We are all very pleased.”
With the bar under one arm the new licensee is also looking to open a new social club for villages called Old School Lane Members’ Club, to replace Yateley Social Club, Mr Whitaker said.
The club provided families with entertainment for 27 years inside Yateley Village Hall but struggled to pay its £1,200 per month rent bill and eventually racked up £31,365 of debts.
As the situation did not improve, the hall management committee and town council decided to close the club on November 25 last year.
Tracy Kilbane-Clune, former secretary of Yateley Social Club, said: “I think people will go as a novelty at first just to have a look, but for how long they will use it I do not know.
“It has got to have an edge. There are so many public houses in this area, they have got to offer something different. It’s off the beaten track and tucked away. I think it is better to have something there than nothing at all but I do not think it will be the same kind of business as we were.”