How to save a pub at risk of closure
Every week 28 pubs close their doors. Here’s what councils and communities are doing to save them
The Wheatsheaf in Tooting Bec, south London, is a landmark for local residents. The large, three storey, red brick Victorian pub stands proudly opposite the tube station, the first sight for many visitors to the area. Last summer, however, there were rumours that its owner wanted to sell – and that top on the list of buyers was supermarket chain Tesco.
A campaign group sprang up to resist the sale. The local MP, Sadiq Khan, got involved, and media attention honed in on the site. Perhaps sensing a PR disaster, Tesco declared itself out of the bidding and other supermarkets followed suit. The owner, Enterprise Inns, also ruled out a sale and the future of The Wheatsheaf remains safe – for now.
Across the country, though, pubs are closing at a rapid pace and being converted for other uses. To many, this represents both a loss of heritage and a negative impact on community life. A recent report Public Houses: how councils and communities can save pubs, by real ale group Camra and the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), thinktank, states that 28 UK pubs are closing every week. It also found that at least 208 have been converted into supermarkets since January 2012.
To view the whole article go to http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2014/jul/17/how-to-save-pub-risk-closure