A group that donates money to local groups and businesses has helped a popular town centre bar recover from the pandemic.
Members of C4C (Congleton For Congleton) met the owners of The Young Pretender on Lawton Street and enjoyed a celebratory lunch to mark the opening of the bar’s new beer garden. The celebration was meant to be held in the beer garden itself, but the rain had other ideas.
Faced with a loss of income during lockdown, the owners of the YP, Bronwyn and Tim Riley, decided to convert their car park into a lawned seating area, including newly-planted native trees and hedges to encourage butterflies, birds and bees.
This was to help future-proof the business against any covid restrictions, giving outside seating space, as well as encouraging families and dog-walkers to stop by for a drink and something to eat.
All the labouring work was carried out by Mr and Mrs Riley – including creating a rockery from the brick left by demolished buildings, possibly houses cleared when Mountbatten Way or the current car park were built.
The Rileys also wanted to illuminate the area and funds were required for electrical work for the lighting.
Since covid hit, C4C has been focusing its resources on supporting groups in Congleton and district that are helping to deal with problems caused by the coronavirus emergency.
The grant was awarded as the trustees felt that The Young Pretender, which runs as a community-oriented business, with clubs and social activities – book clubs, language classes, films and quiz nights – contributed to Congleton life.
C4C was also impressed that the Rileys had done all the labouring themselves, showing commitment to the business.
Mrs Riley said: “We are extremely grateful that C4C decided to support our project. It has been a difficult year for all pubs and bars, but we have worked incredibly hard making improvements to the business while we have been closed.
“The support from C4C meant that we were able to pay local electricians GR Bayley to put in the beautiful lighting, and the beer garden is very popular.”
C4C raises and distributes funds to “inspire, encourage and stimulate actions, activities and good causes” for local individuals, families and organisations in Congleton, to make Congleton a better place.
Groups or businesses who feel that they can make a difference are invited to apply through the website c4cfund.com
Applications are reviewed and discussed by the C4C team and grants are awarded when the team believes there is merit.
As part of its support, C4C has given a grant to New Life Church in Congleton to help its Storehouse Foodbank, which has been running for more than 10 years and is providing food parcels for needy individuals and families.