A project to save and restore the historic Llanidloes town centre pub The Crown and Anchor has been described as a "brave venture" when the industry is "crumbling around us" as it faces a lack of support from some local businesses.

The Long Bridge Street boozer had been a part of town life for more than 200 years before it closed in 2022 due to rising costs.

Plans are in the works that could give The Crown and Anchor a new lease of life as a community-owned and run venture with the backing of locals.

Llanidloes Town Council was told at a recent meeting that only one out of 20 businesses that were approached for feedback supported the project because it would bring more people into the town.


Councillor Dan Craig said: "Broadly speaking I didn't meet anyone wholly in favour of it competing with other businesses with tight margins."

Mayor Councillor Jamie Jones said that he had an impression that there was "not a lot of enthusiasm" within the town council after the group behind the project asked for recognition and support from councillors.

Gareth Morgan, county councillor for Llanidloes, added that it would be "very helpful" that the group is told about the feedback received by the town council.

"It's not in their interest to do something that'll be opposed by everyone or else it won't work," he said.

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Cllr Morgan asked if running a pub was a “valid charitable purpose” which the mayor responded: "If it was the only pub town, then maybe, but it isn't."

Cllr Alan Bennett said the project was "proving rather brave" given the current difficult circumstances within the pub industry.

"The Elephant is still the same as it was. The Angel is for sale. I think they’re very brave to start a new venture when it’s crumbling around us," he added.

Councillors also raised the question about what would happen to the pub should the project fail.

Cllr Eleanor Leguay added: "I want to an open day. They said live music would be featured again and that could possibly raise problems again. They may build a barn and glamping pods. The same problems could be here again.”

County Times: Lauren Sheldrick, Richard Barker, Neil Fitzpatrick-Reeves and Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves outside the Crown and Anchor pub in LlanidloesLauren Sheldrick, Richard Barker, Neil Fitzpatrick-Reeves and Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves outside the Crown and Anchor pub in Llanidloes (Image: Anwen Parry.)

In response Maggie Fitzpatrick-Reeves, who is one of the behind the restoration project, said the main objectives are to “work for and with the community and that it will be a financially stand-alone project”.

“It is also very interesting to note that these types of pubs are 'bucking the trend' they are staying open and are financially stable,” she added.

Mrs Fitzpatrick-Reeves said the project has no plans “at all” to apply for money from any charity but are looking at grant money from various organisations such as the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund and Architectural Heritage.

She added: “As a community benefit society, which we are planning the Crown and Anchor to become, all assets have to be returned to the Llanidloes community by law, with them being divided between such societies that are beneficial to the community.  There are very strict rules surrounding this.”

Mrs Fitzpatrick-Reeves added that there “no current plans” to hold loud music sessions in the garden of the pub but there may be an occasional acoustic session outside. She added that any complaints will be “treated respectfully and dealt with appropriately”.