‘It would be a travesty not to reopen our pub’ - community fight for their local

A campaign to save a pub described as “a bedrock of the local community” from permanent closure is gathering pace with a petition hitting 500 names.

The Macebearer on the Nowton estate in Bury St Edmunds is one of the 79 sites that pub giant Greene King has decided not to reopen since the national coronavirus lockdown in March.

Greene King, which runs its brewing operation from the historic market town, says it is hoping to reopen about two thirds of these sites at some point in the future.

MORE: Suffolk brewer Greene King to shut 26 sites and axe 800 staffRegulars of the Macebearer are hoping to persuade the firm to open its doors once again.

A change.org petition launched by pub-goer Tom Anderson has just reached more than 500 names, halfway to its 1,000 signature target.

Mr Anderson, who grew up on Bury’s Nowton estate, said the Macebearer had become a “social hub” over the years and “is a bedrock of the local community”.

“To close this pub would signal more than just a closure of a pub, it would signal the end of a place to make friends, to maintain a social life for lots of people in the community,” he said in his petition.

“Together, this is a place where many people have enjoyed laughs, great memories and long-lasting friendships and to close this pub would be a travesty for many of the patrons who have made this pub a part of their lives.”

MORE: One of UK’s smallest pubs finally reopens after lockdownMr Anderson told us that pre-Covid the pub - the only one on the estate - was well-used and a lot of charity work went on there.

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He added: “It’s just one of those pubs where everyone knows everyone, and other people have always been welcomed into the pub as one of the family.”

He believes the Macebearer was “never really given the chance” to show it could bounce back when pubs were allowed to reopen.

MORE: Pub landlord says curfew is ‘another blow for the industry’ - but welcomes action on rule-breakersGreene King previously said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites. Around one third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future. We are working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.”

The spokesperson said they “hope at some stage to be able to reopen it [the Macebearer] for the community”.

See here for the petition.