The vital role played by tenanted and leased pubs in UK communities was top of the menu when MP Vicky Ford visited one of her locals in Chelmsford.
Greene King operations director Mike Mannion invited Mrs Ford to visit The Ship, in Broomfield Road, which is run by Grant Chinnery and his family, to find out more about the benefits of running a tenanted or leased pub.
The popular pub is owned by Greene King but has been run by the Chinnery family since the 1970s and Grant’s son William is due to be added to a new agreement with the brewer and pub company, making him the third generation involved with running the pub.
With its excellent local reputation, The Ship was the ideal location for Mrs Ford to meet Mike and John Forrest, the managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, to discuss the leased and tenanted industry and the benefits it brings to pub landlords across the country.
“It was great to meet Vicky and she was really interested to speak with Grant and his family, as well hearing about the role Greene King plays in the community,” said Mike.
“She was very knowledgeable on the tenanted and leased model of running a pub and she was keen to speak with Grant and William about how the Greene King model worked for them.
“It was an extremely productive meeting and we’re very grateful she could spare the time to come along. We were keen to share the fantastic work carried out by Grant at The Ship – a well-loved pub in her constituency.
“We are pleased to share the benefits of this model of running a pub, particularly as it can be more affordable than a freehold and also working in partnership with Greene King can bring a lot of additional support.”
Grant added: “This pub’s always been a big part of the community and we hold lots of social events, with a Halloween party coming up this weekend.
“Our customers get to know the family as well, because we’ve been here so long and we’ve all grown up with our customers.
“They say ‘I used to know your grandfather’ to William. There are a lot of managed pubs out there but I also think it’s important to have pubs like ours that have been part of the community for a long time. People come here to mix and network, it’s a good cross-section of the whole community.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Greene King, we have an incredible range of beers, including a free-of-tie tap so I can have a local beer on, and there is a refurbishment going on at the moment as well.”
Following her visit, Mrs Ford said: “Pubs play a very important part in local communities, but sadly across the country many have closed in recent years. Chelmsford is lucky to have a good mixture of different pubs, restaurants and cafés.
“It was good to speak to many happy customers at the Ship. Thank you to Grant, his wife Joanna and son William for inviting me along and giving me the chance to pull a pint. This brought back many happy memories of helping out behind the bar during my student days.”