The Reservoir Inn – Main Street, Thornton

The Reservoir Inn at Thornton has remained empty and unloved for the past two years, after a small fire in the kitchen in September 2018.

The building has been an important part of the village for over a hundred years.

Steeped in history; the Reservoir Inn was formerly known as the Bulls Head and was originally a slaughter house. It later became known as the Tipsy Fisherman, a reference the locals believe, to the anglers on Thornton reservoir. In 2010 it was ‘re-branded’ again to the Steam Trumpet; its name derived from a steam locomotive accident that occurred in Thornton in 1883, which lead to the invention of the steam whistle by George Stephenson. By 2013 the pub had been sold again and became known as the Reservoir Inn.

Thornton is in the heart the National Forest and Charnwood Forest and is the central hub between three of Leicestershire’s most popular beauty spots; Thornton reservoir, Bagworth Heath and Ratby Burroughs; all outstanding areas of natural beauty and teeming with wildlife; hundreds of walkers and cyclists visit the area on a daily basis.

A planning application for housing has been rejected leading to an exciting opportunity to preserve this much-loved pub for social benefit, by providing a meeting place for the community and the many visitors to the area.

The lack of interest for two years indicates that a second public house in the village would be unsustainable and a change of use is essential to preserving this old building.

Members of the community are busy setting up the Thornton Community Interest Company and intend to ensure the future prosperity of the Reservoir Inn by taking it into community ownership and converting it into a tea room and farm shop, with affordable living accommodation above.

A Community Share Offer will provide the opportunity to buy the Reservoir Inn and keep it as a truly local enterprise, accountable to the community it serves and benefits.

The shares you buy will give you membership of the Thornton Community Interest Company (CIC).

Your involvement can be as much or as little as you choose, and you will have the same voting rights as every other shareholder regardless of the amount invested.

You can vote at Annual General Meetings, stand for election to the Board of Directors, inspect the share register of the society, volunteer skills for the refurbishment or just give the new venture your custom and support.

We have agreed that the minimum target for our share issue will be £500,000, with our upper goal being £600,000. This is for the purchase, renovation and refurbishment of the property.

If we fail to meet our target an application for the remainder of the money required will be made to the Plunkett Foundation and the Department of Communities, Local Government’s More than a Pub Scheme, any other companies offering grants and sponsorship from local businesses.

If we exceed our target, excess monies will be used towards providing other facilities for the benefit of the local community and upgrading the Community Centre.

The company has formed a small steering committee, which brings together years of collective experience.

Once purchased, the property will be offered on a lease to someone who will run the tea room and farm shop under strict guidelines from the directors, with space made available for community activities.

The first floor flat will be refurbished and offered for affordable rental.

A group of 15 residents have come together to form a steering committee to get fund raising under way and a crowd funding page will be set up soon.

If you are interested in making a donation/buying community shares or think you can help in any way please contact us on email –

Join us, and own a piece of a local community asset.

Make Thornton an even better place to live by providing a daytime meeting place where our elderly residents and parents at home with young children, isolated for so long due to Covid19, can meet with one another over a cuppa and a cake (or two), and be able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables locally.

Hopefully, some of the parking problems can be alleviated too by allowing visitors to use the pub’s car park for a small fee.

Check this site for regular updates on our progress.