Otley Pub Club calls on Wellington Pub Company to sell landmark pub so that it can be re-opened under local ownership
Otley’s community pub supporting organisation, the Otley Pub Club, has written to the owners of the Royalty Pub, the Wellington Pub Company, to call for the uniquely positioned pub to be re-sold as a pub so that it can re-open and start serving customers again.
The Royalty has been closed for some time now and is in an increasingly poor state of repair. It is the highest pub in the Leeds metropolitan area which is a famous landmark that is visible from miles around. The pub sits at the top of the famous Chevin, overlooking Otley and Leeds Bradford Airport.
Otley Pub Club have previously contacted Wellington Pub Company urging them to get the pub open again. The Pub Club suggested that the Wellington Pub Company could install a temporary manager if they continued to fail to attract a tenant. Otley Pub Club believe that the Wellington Pub Company are asking too much of prospective licensees in terms of having to repair and refurbish the building, when it is Wellington Pub Company’s property.
With these calls having fallen on deaf ears, Otley Pub Club now believes the future of the pub must be in local hands. The Pub Club have highlighted the resounding success of the Roebuck which is situated on the hill on the other side of Otley. This Roebuck, formerly known as the Sprite, was a failing and crumbling Enterprise pub. However, having been bought and refurbished by local business people it is now run very successfully by Otley local, Chris Payne. Otley Pub Club believes that the Royalty could and should also be bought locally, and given the investment and attention that the pub needs.
Little is known about the history of the pub, but it is known to have been open since at least 1874. The Royalty features on the Otley Pub Club leaflet, the Historic Otley Ale Trail and is currently the only current pub on there that is not open for business. See http://www.otleypubclub.co.uk/the-ale-trail for more information.
Commenting, Andy FitzGerald, Chair of Otley Pub Club said:
“The famous Royalty pub, up on the Chevin above Otley, is a famous local pub and landmark and it is vital that it is repaired and re-opened. We see no prospect of that happening, with Wellington not managing to attract a lessee so we believe the best way forward is for the pub to be bought and run by a local company or business person and made a success of, like the Roebuck”.
Phil Greaves, Otley Pub Club Pubs Campaign Officer, added:
“The Royalty has been closed for too long and we fear that if it is not open and trading again soon, that it will be at risk. That would be a tragedy for the area and we urge Wellington to do the right thing and sell it – as a pub”.
Greg Mulholland MP, President of Otley Pub Club, said:
“I hope that Wellington will listen to the views of people in Otley and re-sell the Royalty as a pub. The Chevin is a beauty spot and attracts many visitors every year, but find a closed and boarded up pub instead of the welcome, drink and meal that they want and this is damaging the local economy”.