July 26, 2022 12.03 pm This story is over 23 months old

Lincoln pub declared community asset in battle to reopen it

Campaigners would get the first chance to buy the pub

A Lincoln pub which was narrowly saved from permanent closure has been granted more protection from development.

The West End Tap has been designated an Asset of Community Value following a campaign to re-open it.

The beloved pub on Newland Street was nearly turned into flats earlier this year, until campaigners convinced the council to give it another chance.

The community would now get the first chance to put an offer in if it went up for sale.

However, the pub’s owners are divided over the Tap’s future, and there are no guarantees that it will ever pull another pint.

The majority investor Terry Mackown, who runs three successful pubs in York, is keen to see it serving drinks for the community again.

However the other owners, Nigel and Lewis Delahey, claim the pub is impossible to sustain and want to find a new use for it.

They objected to the ACV application made by the Keep the Tap Running group.

Campaigners happy to see the West End Tap kept as a pub (From left – Aaron Joist, Lincoln CAMRA chair, Marianne Langley, secretary of Keep the Tap Running, Terry Mackown, majority investor) | Photo: LDRS

A first application was rejected due a technicality as the group didn’t have a constitution at the time. Since changing this, they have now been successful.

The City of Lincoln Council said the pub offered a valuable place where the student population and local residents could interact.

Marianne Langley, the secretary of KTTR said: “The community and the third owner remain as committed as ever to saving the pub.

“There is not yet a single urban community pub in the East Midlands – let’s hope the Tap can be the first!”

Dozens of supporters attended the meeting to hear the pub’s fate | Photo: LDRS

More than 80 people packed into a planning committee in April to hear the pub’s fate, when the committee unexpectedly gave it a second chance.

Councillor Bob Bushell warned at the time: “There is no guarantee that the Tap will ever open as a pub again. The owners can’t be forced to sell or to do so at a particular price.”

The pub was bought by the current owners in 2013, who invested over £250,000 into it.

However, it didn’t reopen after the 2021 lockdown.

Lewis Delahey said at the meeting: “It has been a seven year struggle to keep it open. It’s common sense to accept that the pub is no longer viable.”

The Tap has now been added to Lincoln’s register of Assets of Community Value.