Stamford pub to be converted into offices

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TIME has been called on a struggling town centre pub which is due to be converted into offices.

The Scotgate, in Scotgate, Stamford, shut its doors for the final time on Tuesday last week after struggling over the last five years.

Owners Punch Taverns is selling off 2,500 pubs, including The Scotgate, over the next five years and the chain says it is holding talks with interested parties.

Design and marketing company D Squared is hoping to buy the pub and has submitted a change of use planning application to South Kesteven District Council to turn the site into offices.

Former landlord Johann Goree hoped to carry on trading for a few more weeks but said he decided to close the pub on Tuesday last week after the signs advertising the planning application had put drinkers off.

He said: “We had no trade in the last week as everyone thought we had closed down already.

“We had to call time before it got too expensive. You can’t run a pub with no trade in there.”

Mr Goree, who is now working as a manager at The Hole in the Wall, in Cheyne Lane, Stamford, said The Scotgate was not making much money for the chain.

He said: “It has not been performing well over the last five years. It had numerous licensees for the last five years and no-one quite had it right.”

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association shows that pubs are closing at a rate of 25 a week and that 1,300 shut their doors last year.

A spokesperson from Punch Taverns said: “As a pub company it is always our preference that our pubs continue to trade as pubs.

“However, we do review our estate regularly and consider marketing sites for sale which might better fulfil their potential under different ownership.

“We exchanged contracts with a buyer on the June 13 and we expect the sale to be completed in the next couple of weeks.”

D Squared has outgrown its current home in Water Street and is hoping to turn the pub into an open plan office and studio, if planning permission is granted. It is planned to rent out the current Water Street site.

Director Richard Taylor will be looking to improve the site.

He said: “It is an exciting move for the company and fingers crossed it all goes through.

“It is a shame that the Scotgate is going. We have tried to buy other properties to no avail.”