Save The George Campaign
The George closed it's doors to villagers in January 2015 after it was bought by developers who have subsequently built four houses in the garden. Silsoe Parish Council put an ACV - Asset of Community Value - on the pub itself in January 2016 to allow 6 months for villagers to make a bid for the pub. Silsoe Community Society Ltd was formed and with a grant from SPC, secured advice from the Plunkett Foundation to put together a credible bid to buy this ancient inn as an asset to the community.
The Project worked hard to make the dream of a pub / restaurant / post office / meeting rooms and boutique-style guest rooms come alive for all villagers and visitors to Silsoe to enjoy. Take a look at their website to find out more about the project.
Despite raising all the money to take on this dream within the six month window, the developers refused to sell to the villagers and have subsequently applied for planning permission to turn the upper floor into apartments. with a small bar downstairs and a retail / restaurant opportunity. CBC councillors have also since agreed to allow them to build the apartments without fully completing the downstairs - a condition which was a small nod to the needs of a community that deseprately wants services rather than more housing.
This was very dissapointing and SCS Ltd has been actively involved, along with SPC and our Ward Councillor to find out what happened. In the meantime, no development has taken place at all and the village watches The George gradually decline.
On the plus side, The George really brought the community together. Many homes and cars still sport the "I'm Saving The George" stickers and it frequently appears on postings on our village residents Facebook Page, Silsoe Network. Fundraising continues - no longer to support the marketing activities of the campaign, it supports a Family Fun Day in July, Christmas Lights in December and a Pancake Race at Easter. All of these events are well-attended by villagers and continues the aim of bringing Silsoe together. Please take a look at their Facebook page for any news and events.