Prodigy star’s old pub may reopen

Mick Ferris
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A Chelmsford village pub formally run by the lead singer of The Prodigy could be under new management as a community pub.

Pleshey parish councillor Daniel Kenning told the LDRS a small steering group has been created to see how running The Leather Bottle in Pleshey – which has been closed since April since the last tenant left – might work as a community pub.

He said an offer may be agreed by the building’s owner by July. But in the meantime the owners may rent it to another interested party – Kathryn Kilpin – who has applied to Chelmsford City Council for a premises licence.

Cllr Kenning said: “The owners have given us, the community, their blessing to find out what it would take to turn it into a community pub.

“But nothing has been agreed yet. So it might well be the lady who has applied for the licence opens it up with a commercial tenancy.”

He added that since the pub closed the owners have also allowed two pop-up pub events under temporary event licences. There is another one due to take place on July 5.

Cllr Kenning said: “We did that in order to gauge the support in the community for the pub and to honour some Morris dancing commitments that were already in the diary.”

He added: “The pub is very popular in the community. It’s the only pub in the village, so people are very keen it stays open.”

Ms Kilpin, who was unable to reveal her long term plans, has applied to the city council to open between 12pm and midnight Friday to Saturday and between 12pm and 11pm on Sundays.

Keith, who lived near Dunmow, took over the running of The Leather Bottle between 2014 and 2017 before his death at the age of 49 in 2019.

During that time it was listed an Asset of Community Value. Once listed as Assets of Community Value with the local authority, the local community will be informed if they are listed for sale.

The community can then enact the Community Right to Bid, which gives them a moratorium period of six months to determine if they can raise the finance to purchase the asset.

Part of the building is believed to date from the 15th century when Pleshey Castle was still in use. Cllr Kenning said it has been a pub for about 150 years.


Mick Ferris

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