Town pub looks for new owners

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A Leyland pub has remained open despite its long-standing landlord leaving.

Rumours were rife that the Original Ship, on Towngate, was set to close.

But, brewery Scottish and Newcastle insists it is still trading under temporary management after previous landlord Roy Yates decided to leave.

In 2009, Mr Yates spoke out after a bitter dispute with the brewery and claimed he was being financially crippled by hiking rent charges.

The Original Ship, along with the Fox & Lion, the Wheatsheaf and The Queen’s Hotel formed a consortium against the brewery and urged them to work with them to resolve the issues.

Scottish and Newcastle confirmed Mr Yates left two weeks ago after failing to adhere to the terms of his contract.

The popular Fox & Lion pub, on the corner of Fox Lane, closed suddenly five months ago and still remains shut.

Darren Miller, who owns the Barristers pub on Towngate, said more problems are ahead for the town’s pubs.

He said: “The Ship was a brilliant pub and I thought the landlord was a really nice guy. It is a shame.

“When Wetherspoons opens I think 70 per cent of the pubs in the town will shut in two years.”

At the time of the dispute with the brewery, Mr Yates, who has run the pub for three years, said he was paying £900 a week in rent to the brewery.

He said that meant he was unable to make much-needed repairs to the pub and he was forced to close on a Friday night because of late deliveries.

A spokesperson for Scottish and Newcastle said: “The Original Ship is currently trading under temporary management while we are recruiting for a permanent licensee to take over the running of the pub.”

Anyone interested in running the pub can visit www.snpubs.co.uk for more details.