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Lotto grant will pay for disabled toilet at Chequer Inn pub in Ash

By Eleanor Perkins

A community which clubbed together to buy back their local pub is celebrating a new £10,000 grant.

The Chequer Inn in Ash has been awarded the five-figure sum by The National Lottery Community Fund and the cash will help pay for disability-friendly unisex toilets.

The Grade II listed building was saved from development into houses last April after members of the Chequer Inn Ash Society bought the pub by raising £400,000 from villagers, shareholders and investors.

David Greaves, Jon Scatchard, Matthew Titterton, Jane Greaves and Sandra Scatchard with the Lotto cheque
David Greaves, Jon Scatchard, Matthew Titterton, Jane Greaves and Sandra Scatchard with the Lotto cheque

Its chairman Jon Scatchard said: “This project has re-energised social relationships and brought people together to save this prominent central facility, which had been lost for several years.

"The space now needs improvement to enable access to the pub from across the community.”

Some areas, like the garden, are currently accessible by people with mobility problems but improvements are still needed.

He added: “We are determined to provide a welcoming, inclusive approach to the building, inside and out to enable access by the whole community to the range of activities planned.

"The success of the project depends on community inclusion.”

The Chequer Inn in Ash will open its doors again in the summer
The Chequer Inn in Ash will open its doors again in the summer

The existing male and female toilets do not achieve satisfactory spaces for wheelchair access.

The location of the proposed new WC is beneath the existing shallow roof of the modern walkway.

Secretary Jane Greaves said: “Disabled access and facilities have been considered as a priority for our refurbishment, to give a clear message to the community - that we take their needs seriously and we wish to make the pub facilities accessible to all.”

The pub is hoping to relaunch in the summer.

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