Riverside is killing off city centre pubs'

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The opening of the Riverside leisure and entertainment complex on the east side of Norwich is causing record numbers of pubs in the city centre to...

The opening of the Riverside leisure and entertainment complex on the east side of Norwich is causing record numbers of pubs in the city centre to close, a Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) spokesman has claimed.

Pubs now shut include the Hogshead on Queen Street, the Earl of Leicester on Dereham Road, the Magpie on Magpie Road and the Merchants of Cole-gate on Colegate.

Philip Tolley, vice-chairman of Norwich & Norfolk Camra branch said: "We have a lot of long-established pubs closing.

It's something we are concerned about."

He said Riverside had shifted the focus of Norwich nightlife away from the city centre, and pubs in the Magdalen Street and Tombland areas in particular were suffering as a result.

The closure of the Ikon and Fifth Avenue nightclubs in Tombland had contributed, he added.

He said the city centre was now almost entirely "Wetherspoon's and trendy pubs".

"Where are the pubs that specialise in jazz or folk music, for example?

We haven't got that in the city centre any more," he stressed.

"Why is it that Norwich doesn't have pubs that offer a different sort of environment?

For a big city, you would think it would."

Tolley said he feared that some of the currently-closed city pubs might not reopen.

"I have spoken to a number of small brewers and other people and nobody is interested in those pubs.

They can't see what future there is for trade in the city centre with the move to Riverside."

Other city pubs currently closed include the King's Head on Magdalen Street, the Little John on Armes Street, and the Kingsway on King Street.

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