A CHERISHED pub faces an uncertain future after refurbishment plans have ground to a halt.
The Prince of Wales, in Foxfield, near Broughton, has been closed since the first lockdown in March 2020, when it was bought by Millom property developer As If By Magic Ltd, who announced ambitious plans to refurbish and reopen the iconic pub.
Having recently informed South Lakeland District Council of its plans to sell the pub after refurbishment work had stopped, with the company citing ‘global challenges’ and significant costs’, locals are to come together in a meeting next week to discuss what can be done to secure the future of the much-loved hostelry.
In July 2022, locals successfully applied to SLDC to list the pub as an ‘asset of community value’, meaning that once listed for sale, the community would have six months to raise funds to buy it.
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Local resident and Prince of Wales regular Dick Palmer, said: “We’re holding a meeting next Thursday at Victory Hall in Broughton at 7 pm, purely to sound people out, to see if we want to form a community group or to let it go on the open market.
“We managed to get the pub listed so at least it buys us some time, rather than see it turned into houses, or knocked down.
“We were becoming increasingly worried when the work stopped. We all miss the pub, it was a great place – it was iconic.
“It wasn’t just locals that went there, people came from all over the north west on the train to Foxfield.
“We’ve invited anybody and everybody to the meeting, including As If By Magic, as I’ve stressed all along that this meeting is not judgmental, and with no preconceptions, it’s to explore possibilities and options going forward.
READ MORE: Popular pub puts its refurbishment project on hold
“We’re not worried now about what’s happened in the past, it’s purely to gauge opinion and see where we can go.
Another pub regular, and Coniston businessman Phil Johnston, hopes the Prince of Wales has a future.
“The previous owners, Stuart and Lynda (Johnson), made it into a legendary place to go, it had such a warm and friendly atmosphere, with people travelling from far and wide to come,” he said.
“They were kind to everybody, and very reasonable with their prices.
“They brewed their own beers, the food was home-made and delicious, and were just dedicated to giving good service.”