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Former Peterborough United ladies manager save club's local with support from HSBE 

Peterborough United Football Club’s local pub, The Swiss Cottage, has reopened as Charlies Adult Youth Club (AYC) after being purchased by Woodston couple, Paul Richards and Marija Obradovic, with support from HSBC UK.

Marija, an ex-player and manager at the club’s ‘Posh Ladies’ team and former England international, secured a commercial mortgage, alongside partner Paul, from HSBC UK to help purchase the 200-year-old pub – the place where they first met. The purchase has saved the site from being sold to developers and being turned into flats.

After playing and managing at Posh Ladies for 5 years and frequently visiting the pub with family, friends and team-mates, Marija has developed great relationships with the local community as she was born in Woodston and still lives in the family home in Palmerston Road with Paul – a stone’s throw away from the pub.  However, in recent years, the pub has lost its family appeal and Marija and Paul hope to address this by inviting families into the pub, bringing back the community feel it was once famous for.

Furthermore, the duo received an additional business loan, to support the pub’s renovation costs, transforming the premises from disrepair into a modern and spacious pub. This included installing a new wooden and tiled floor; a new cellar and pipeline system with new lager, ale and cider pumps; new windows in the function room and a new lawn in the garden.

The opening of Charlies AYC will create five part-time jobs.

Marija Obradovic, co-owner of Charlies AYC, said:

“The pub means so much to us and our families, it’s a place we’ve been visiting and building memories at for so many years. If we weren’t able to purchase the pub, it would have been demolished and turned into flats, taking away people’s memories of the pub and the football club with it. We’re excited about the opening and want as many people from the community to visit their new local pub. Thanks to our Relationship Manager at HSBC UK, Matt Cooper, we can bring the pub’s community feel back and create even more memories together.”

Paul Armstrong, area director for Peterborough, HSBC UK, said:

“This is a great story of a business that’s so important to the community it serves. HSBC UK was happy to support Marija and Paul with their new venture – it couldn’t be more appropriate for them to takeover the pub given its where they first met and is the local to Marija’s former football team.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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