Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Tourism bid backed in Cotswolds' "prettiest village"

Cotswold District Council has backed a licence bid which will see the imminent return of a key tourism need for a sequestered Cotswolds village.

Named as the prettiest village in the Cotswolds in past polls, Lower Slaughter lost a pivotal venue when the town's historic Old Mill closed last April after then-owners, the Wilkins family, announced a closing-down sale for their award-winning gifts shop, museum and ice-cream parlour.

But a bid from new owner Frederik Jacobs, who is investing nearly £4m into renovations on the mill which he hopes to reopen next year, has now been approved by the council's licensing committee,.

Despite some objections from residents, a temporary converted horse trailer at the entrance to the address will be permitted to sell food and non-alcoholic drink to visitors to the picturesque village.

Alongside this scheme, owner Frederik Jacobs also hopes to have the backing of planners to renovate the famous Grade II-listed mill and convert it into a private home, with a new extension and conversion of an existing annexe.

WIth the area being served by The Slaughters Country Inn, Lords of the Manor and Lower Slaughter Manor, councillors were minded to support the licence bid as a stimulus for visitor spend: before the Old Mill's museum, café and tea room closed last year, it was listed in Wikipedia as the "the only obvious tourist attraction" in the village.

Mr Craig Baylis, legal agent to Mr Jacobs, told the committee: "The old mill, historically was used as a café until Mr Jacobs bought it. Mr Jacobs is investing a considerable amount of money, nearly £4m in terms of acquiring and renovating the property to turn it into something that is attractive and useful for the community."

Given the time needed for planning approval, he said the temporary scheme would be "a cash negative proposal because of the cost of the truck and the staff."

Once the main facility was operating again, he added, the horsebox sales point would be withdrawn. As a reassurance to resident objections to the scheme, he added that the food and drink facility would be open mid-morning to later afternoon only, and also not trade beyond the end of October, with a plan to re-open again in April next year.

Mr Baylis also said the outlet, which would not provide parking or seating, could also provide a small village store offering basic supplies for local residents. He added: "Once we are past the street trading issue, it will hopefully be a real asset to the community."

He said that a daily litter-picking patrol would also be organised by the Mill to address any concerns of subsequent litter from people who picked up take-away drinks and snacks.

Mr Jabobs had visited Lower Slaughter Parish Council to explain his general plan, he said, and had now "hopefully made a few friends".

Mr Jacobs told planners: "We bought the property about a year ago with the intention to make it our private home."

But he added that the original café and souvenir shop, which had been "very successful", would revert back as part of the renovation scheme.

● Records show that Lower Slaughter has been inhabited for over 1000 years, with a Domesday Book entry names stating the village was known as "Sclostre" - a word that derives from the term "slough", meaning wet land.

Related Articles

Gloucester leader

Gloucester leader "concerned" over £1.14m gap in commercial property income

He said the portfolio needs to work harder to pull its finances out of the woods


EXCLUSIVE: "Persimmon road closure is killing our business"

Customers and suppliers sent round in circles, says company boss.

BREAKING: global software error in USA hits Gloucestershire business Image

BREAKING: global software error in USA hits Gloucestershire business

Windows wipeout triggers chaos amid "massive" failure.

Annual quiz raises £2,000 for two charities Image

Annual quiz raises £2,000 for two charities

Quiz buffs helped raise a fabulous £2,000 for two Gloucestershire charities at an annual event last night (Thursday).

Copyright 2024 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.