Fury as TV pub set to close after funds cut
The closure of a soap opera pub could be avoided if the government had not scrapped plans for community ownership, real ale campaigners claim.
The pub famous for being the “Woolpack” in Emmerdale will close due to the departure of its tenants. The pub, which is used in the external shots of the ITV soap, is tied to enterprise Inns. It is believed the current tenant, Nichola McGrath, is struggling due to inflated rents and high beer prices.
Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), criticised government plans to get rid of community owned pubs which were announced earlier this month.
he said: “No doubt the tightknit (albeit fictional) community in Emmerdale would jump at the chance to buy this icon of a pub together, but unfortunately the government have recently scrapped plans to provide over £4 million to provide support for community owned pubs.
“Without financial support, communities simply cannot afford to keep their pubs afloat.”
In March 2010, former pubs minister John healey announced a 12-point action plan to support community pubs.
As part of this plan, the previous government promised £3.3 million to support community ownership of pubs, administered through the Plunkett Foundation, and a further £1 million to Pub is the hub.
Mr healy, who will give the keynote address to Camra’s Labour Party conference reception to be held with the All Parliamentary Beer Group in September, said the news of the Woolpack’s closure would be a blow to residents in the area.