Pub battlers bid to beat sale blow
ACOMMUNITY group, trying to create a microbrewery and dementia cafe in a Birkdale pub have vowed to block demolition plans, after the pub was sold to a developer.
The Blundell Arms Community Pub (BACP) was dealt a hefty blow earlier this year when the former Blundell Arms was sold by brewery firm Star Bar and Pubs.
It had previously lodged its own bid and secured further funding to renovate the site and received support from Southport MP Damien Moore.
It had also secured a grant from More Than a Pub, a government programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in England, and revealed ambitious plans which feature a wheelchair-accessible farm garden, microbrewery, events such as “distil your own gin” nights, and meeting rooms for community groups.
But the group now fears that the developer will apply for permission to demolish the pub to make way for housing and is preparing to battle any such plan.
It is also hopeful of buying out the new owner and Jason McCormack, who launched the initial campaign, says talks have begun.
He said: “The new owners said that we can buy the pub from them at a premium price. We feel that we can get a fairer price for the pub if it remains a pub.
“The pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value and that provides material evidence of the pub’s value to the community. This is a chance to revitalise the Upper Aughton Road area of Birkdale.
“Our project will create jobs for people of all ages and abilities, help reduce social isolation and improve social cohesion.”
The group will share its plans at a public meeting at 7pm tomorrow (Friday, November 30)at Birkdale Conservative Club, Liverpool Road.
There will be guest speakers including an admiral nurse, a surveyor, an expert on community projects and John Wright, the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary candidate for Southport.
Everyone who attends will be entered in a free raffle for a bottle of Save The Blundell Arms Gin, produced locally by Birkdale Kraft Distillery.
The Blundell Arms pub is still at risk of demolition