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Calling time on pub that no one wants
THE steel shutters have been thrown up at a back-street Swindon pub after efforts to keep it trading were abandoned.
The Prince of Wales, in Old Town, had been run by a temporary management team while a search for a new owner was undertaken.
But it shut last Friday and faces an uncertain future unless a new management team is ready to take on the freehold.
The Prince of Wales has joined a list of casualties which have fallen victim to tough times for the pub trade in recent years.
They include the nearby George on Eastcott Hill which shut down in 2010.
It had been one of Swindon's oldest pubs and a campaign to save it met with failure.
Swindon’s Campaign For Real Ale branch has warned that pubs nationally are closing at a rate of 33 a week. Chairman Hans Hoffbauer has backed calls for the alcohol duty escalator to be abolished.
The Prince of Wales had been described as a back street locals’ pub in beer and cider guides.
Savills estate agents is selling the freehold for the venue in Union Street.
A spokeswoman said: “We were appointed at the end of March and are selling the freehold on behalf of Punch Taverns. We have had some interest during that time. We are offering it as a pub or alternative use.”
A team had been in the pub to keep it trading during the period while the freehold was put up for sale.
It attracted some interest, including from a landlord at another pub who wanted to specialise in real ales, but no offers have yet been made.
A member of staff at the time said the pub was kept open because it was worth more to potential buyers if it was still trading.
A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said: “I can confirm the Prince of Wales is closed for now. We are reviewing all options for the pub’s future.”