West Yorkshire campaign group urges pubco to sell pub to local

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Otley pub club Greg mulholland

The Royalty is 'falling into an increasingly poor state of repair', according to Otley Pub Club
The Royalty is 'falling into an increasingly poor state of repair', according to Otley Pub Club
A campaign group hoping to save a closed West Yorkshire pub has called on its owner to sell the property, so it can re-open under local ownership.

The Otley Pub Club said it has written to Wellington Pub Company to ask the tenanted operator to sell the Royalty, in the village of Otley, so that it can be “given the investment and attention the pub needs”.

'Poor state of repair'

According to the group, which is backed by local MP and All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group chairman Greg Mulholland, the pub is falling into an increasingly poor state of repair after successive lease deals have fallen through. The campaigners have claimed that Wellington is asking too much of prospective licensees “in terms of having to repair and refurbish the building”, and now is the time to sell.

Andy Fitzgerald, chair of Otley Pub Club, argued that the Royalty is a famous local landmark, and it is vital that it is repaired and reopened.

Local ownership

He said: “We see no prospect of that happening, with Wellington not managing to attract a lessee, so we believe that the best way forward is for the pub to be bought and run by a local company or business person.”

A spokesman for Wellington said that plans were in place to reopen the pub by February, on a long lease.

Temporary tenant

While conceding that the company had approved two lease deals that subsequently fell through, he rejected the suggestion that Wellington wasn’t prepared to repair the property if a tenant was found, and that it would not consider a temporary tenant.

The spokesman said: “If the club found one, we would happily accept a temporary tenant, as we are paying a security guard. The fact that we’ve not boarded it (which is cheaper than a guard) shows our commitment to reopening it as a pub.”

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