Help to save much-loved lo­cal venues

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - £35.45 • - Glass half full.

I WAS sad to read about the clo­sure of an­other longestab­lished Dundee pub in the

Tele this week.

I was never in Boyds and it’s not an area of town I spend much time in, but it was no doubt the type of place that played a big part in life in the Hill­town.

Un­for­tu­nately, it seems to be the way these venues are go­ing – more of them are shut­ting than are open­ing up.

And although we do have a great num­ber of new places pop­ping up in the city cen­tre and at the Wa­ter­front, the demise of the lo­cal boozer in var­i­ous ar­eas of the city is a blow to the com­mu­ni­ties they served.

I know there’s a drive to stop peo­ple drink­ing so much al­co­hol and that’s fair enough – you’d ex­pect the au­thor­i­ties to be do­ing some­thing to cut down on the na­tion’s drink con­sump­tion.

But pubs play an im­por­tant role for the peo­ple liv­ing close to them.

They aren’t just places peo­ple go to get drunk – they’re much more than that.

They’re gath­er­ing places for folk to go and so­cialise, catch up and build re­la­tion­ships, they of­fer fa­cil­i­ties for events and func­tions and they are of­ten the first place peo­ple go to spread per­sonal news or to hear the lat­est ru­mours about what’s hap­pen­ing in their area.

I don’t doubt there are some venues which are bet­ter off shut – the ones that just at­tract prob­lems and con­trib­ute to crime and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour – though they’re surely in the mi­nor­ity.

I don’t know what the so­lu­tion is. I’m not naive enough to be­lieve that the coun­cil or other bod­ies would step in and sup­port these venues with cash or in­cen­tives to stay open – but I do think they should take an in­ter­est in help­ing them pros­per. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

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