Investors come forward to save Nuthampstead pub

PUBLISHED: 12:03 01 November 2018

The Woodman owners Stuart and Jenna Johnson (centre) celebrate with family and staff. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Woodman owners Stuart and Jenna Johnson (centre) celebrate with family and staff. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

The owners of a Nuthampstead pub under the threat of closure have said they are “so relieved” investors have put forward an offer to save the pub and keep them in their family home.

The Woodman owners Stuart and Jenna Johnson. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Woodman owners Stuart and Jenna Johnson. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stuart and Jenna Johnson started a fundraising drive in a last-gasp attempt to save The Woodman Inn from possible closure – after they had put the pub on the market and reduced the price, and had tried and failed to get planning permission to sell off land to raise money to help the business, which was in debt when they took it over in 2010.

They started a fundraising page to raise £43,000 to keep them afloat until new year, and focused on getting the word out to the community – with help of a story in the Crow, and Facebook posts promoting their cause.

After seeing the story and what the historic watering hole means to the community, two investors from London have come forward with an offer which pays off the debt, and keeps the Johnsons running the pub and living in what is their family home.

Stuart – who has had daughter Olive, seven, four-year-old twins Rita and Pearl and one-year-old son Fox with Jenna – told the Crow: “It has been very difficult keeping it going but we have, and this has made it all worth it.

“We had a lot of viewings and had created a lot of interest but nothing had come off, however now we have this offer and we are so relieved.

“I am ambitious and I know what we want to contribute to the pub, and now we have that opportunity.”

Jenna said: “It really has answered all of our prayers. Trade is better than it has been in a very long time for us and we are so grateful for all of the publicity, support and understanding we received from our community and beyond.”

Stuart was training to take on an endurance challenge to raise money, but as all of his time and efforts are being spent on pushing this deal through, they have cancelled the JustGiving page and donations have been refunded.

Jenna said: “We have some events coming up and Christmas bookings are coming in.

“We have lots planned for the new year in terms of refurbishment and giving the pub some TLC. When all of the work is completed, we will be throwing a huge party so that we can thank our supporters and they can all come and see what we have done.”

For more on The Woodman Inn go to

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Royston Crow. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Royston Crow