Norwich calls for closed Marlpit pub to be reopened
PUBLISHED: 13:02 20 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:02 20 October 2014
People living near to a Norwich pub who were left "broken" when it closed have vowed to fight to get it reopened.
More than 40 people attended a packed meeting which had been called following the closure of the Marlpit pub, in Hellesdon Road, which has since been put up for sale by owners Enterprise Inns.
Wensum ward councillors organised the meeting to give people the chance to have their say on the future of the pub, which has been listed as an “asset of community value” by Norwich City Council.
And those who turned out to air their views at the Marlpit community centre on Saturday night were resoundingly in favour of ensuring the pub, which closed in May, reopened as a pub and community resource.
Jackie Walker, vice-chairman of the Marlpit Community Centre, said: “This pub could have a very lucrative future. The locals want it, it’s a wonderful heritage building and it’s close to the Marriott’s Way. With the right investment it will be a tremendous asset for the neighbourhood.”
Rev Louise Alder, vicar of St Michaels in the Marlpit, attended the meeting and said: “As a church we understand the importance and value of community. This pub is clearly an important part of that, the will is there and I see the strength of feeling and need for it.”
Former Norwich Lord Mayor Roy Durrant, 83, said: “I first had a drink in here at Christmas 1948 when I was home on leave from the Navy.
“It has been a thriving place since then... Now, with it gone, older people have nowhere to meet their friends. They were cut off overnight, shut off from everyone.”
The pub has been on the market for a couple of weeks but Enterprise Inns must give the community a chance to bid for it first and six months to raise the cash – if the community decides to declare its interest.
Lucy Galvin, a Wensum ward city councillor, said: “ “Once gone it would be gone forever, and the feeling of the community is that it is a much-needed asset to this area in many ways – economic, health and wellbeing, heritage and leisure and tourism.
• The Norwich Evening News has encouraged people to support local pubs through its Love Your Local campaign. Click here to find out more.