Golden Triangle residents hope to buy city pub
PUBLISHED: 07:56 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:16 04 July 2019
Former customers of a Norwich pub which recently reopened on a short-term lease have joined forces to try and secure its long-term future.
The York Tavern, situated on Leicester Street in the Golden Triangle, closed in January this year after lease negotiations with the owners and management broke down.
But the sudden closure sparked the interest of former customer Steve Wiseman, who asked residents in the area if they would be interested in running the premises as a community pub.
Six months on and Mr Wiseman, along with a dozen other interested people, have formed The Tavern Trust and applied to register the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
Charity business consultant, Mr Wiseman, 67, said: "Part of the reason why I suggested this is because I used to go into the York and it's not just a pub, it was somewhere for local people to meet and socialise.
"It was sad to see that disappear."
Despite the group's intentions, the pub was reopened in June on a new short-term lease by owners EI Publican Partnerships (Ei) - formerly known as Enterprise Inns.
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Mr Wiseman said the move had not deterred the trust's intentions, but said it meant they would have to wait until Ei puts the pub up for sale.
Should their ACV application be successful, the trust will have six months to put a bid in to buy it.
"I am not saying this will be easy," Mr Wiseman said. "But we feel there is a lack of community facilities in the area and if we can't run The York, we will look at somewhere else."
He said the aim of the premises would be to provide a community space for local residents, while also operate as a pub and restaurant.
The pub's previous management team said in 2018 that they had spent the past four years developing the premises.
They said: "We have grown the trade into the highest turnover the site has experienced."
The premises closed this year after talks for a new 20-year lease between the team and Ei broke down.
A spokesperson for Ei Publican Partnerships said: "We'd like to reassure the local community that we are committed to operating the York Tavern and are in talks with a new publican about taking on the pub on a long-term agreement."