VIDEO: Bid to secure future for Doncaster pubs

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Two pubs could soon be the first in Doncaster registered as community assets as part of a campaign to stop the borough losing its locals.

Doncaster Campaign for Real Ale expects to file applications with Doncaster Council in the next month for the bars to be designated as ‘assets of community value’ under by the Localism Act.

(l-r) Pete Kennedy, Bob Kiddle, of CAMRA and Ruth Wicks, landlady at The Corner Pin, St Sepulchre Gate West are campaigning to list the pub as a community asset. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Pete Kennedy, Bob Kiddle, of CAMRA and Ruth Wicks, landlady at The Corner Pin, St Sepulchre Gate West are campaigning to list the pub as a community asset. Picture: Andrew Roe

It would mean that if the pubs owners wanted to sell the pubs to be redeveloped, they would have to notify the community, and give locals the chance to put together a bid to buy it themselves.

Doncaster CAMRA believes it would potentially stop pubs being sold to be converted into flats or supermarkets.

The move comes as The Star is running its Save Our Pubs campaign to try to stop the pub closures the borough has seen in recent years.

The pubs which are being targeted to be designated as Assets of Community Value are The Corner Pin, on St Sepulchre Gate West, and The Little Plough, on West Laith Gate, in the town centre.

(l-r) Pete Kennedy, Bob Kiddle, of CAMRA and Ruth Wicks, landlady at The Corner Pin, St Sepulchre Gate West are campaigning to list the pub as a community asset. Picture: Andrew Roe

(l-r) Pete Kennedy, Bob Kiddle, of CAMRA and Ruth Wicks, landlady at The Corner Pin, St Sepulchre Gate West are campaigning to list the pub as a community asset. Picture: Andrew Roe

The real ale campaign group has already had the status granted for pubs in other parts of the country.

Its Doncaster community pubs officer, Pete Kennedy, said: “The powers of the Localist Act give extra protection if a pub is put up for sale, if is registered as an asset of community value.

“It means you have six months to put together a business plan to put in a bid.

“If it was being sold to he current landlord, we would probably think that was a good thing. But this is really about stopping pubs being closed down and turned into things like supermarkets.

“We are starting off with two, but we are going to be looking at if there are other pubs that are particularly valued by their communities, perhaps because they are the only pub in a community or if they have historal or cultural value.”

They are getting 21 people to sign the application, which is the figure required for it to be submitted, along with a description of why the pubs are of community value.

The campaigners say they will only make bids to be listed as community assets where they have the support of the pubs landlords and landladies.

They have the backing of Dave and Ruth Wickes at the Corner Pin and Nick Griffin, at the Little Plough.

The application will state that both pubs have distinct clienteles, raise significant amounts of money for their communities, and serve real and local ales. CAMRA describes them both as ‘traditional pubs.’

Corner Pin landlady Ruth Wickes said: “I’m happy for them to be doing this. We are a community pub with regulars.”

Little Plough landlord Nick Griffin added: “I’m over the moon with this. From my point of view this is a pub that’s been a pub since 1880, and if I wasn’t a landlord I would feel the same way.”

Doncaster CAMRA chairman Bob Kiddle said the organisation would be happy to look at trying to register other pubs as community assets if people contacted them.

He said: “We started fighting for real ale, and there are now many real ales and breweries around the UK and regions. Now we are fighting pub closures.”

The Doncaster Star launched its Save Our Pubs campaign last month, with the support of CAMRA.

It is also supported by MPs Rosie Winterton and Ed Miliband.

The Star launched the Save Our Pubs campaign last month because of concerns over the number of pubs that have closed in Doncaster in recent years.

Big bars such as The Drum in Bentley, The Moon at Carcroft, and The Park Hotel at Belle Vue are among the high profile venues to have been lost recently.

We are calling for the Government to bring in measures to allow more freedom for pub managers to buy their own beers, and fair rents for their pubs.