A spokesman for the Campaign for Real Ale welcomes the news that several public houses in Peterborough are re-opening, or are about to re-open, with speculation that this could indicate the start of a trend, and signal the beginning of the end of the decline in public houses. Broadcast at 07:10 on Monday 12th July 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show hosted by Paul Stainton on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL: A number of pubs are due to reopen in Peterborough soon. It might not be a full blown revival, but perhaps there’s hope of recovery in the pub trade in the city, which has been hit hard over the last couple of years following the introduction of the smoking ban and then the recession. David Murray is the Chairman of the Peterborough branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. Morning David.
DAVID: Good morning.
PAUL: I suppose there’s been quite an upsurge as well with the World Cup, which has helped as well. But this is something of a mini-revival, isn’t it?
DAVID: It is indeed. Yes. Obviously the good weather always helps pubs, and the World Cup as well. We’ve got a bit of a blip in the downward trend. We’ve got a few pubs have either re-opened or are about to re-open very shortly around the city.
PAUL: Should we be getting excited David?
DAVID: Well not ecstatic, but from our point of view it’s always nice to see a pub re-opening, rather than the usual shutters going up and then the next thing the bulldozers move in.
PAUL: Why is Peterborough having a blip? Why is it bucking the trend at the moment?
DAVID: I think there’s several reasons. The city is growing in size and population-wise. Obviously there are people out there who are seeing opportunities and think they’ll make a go of it.
PAUL: There are quite a few re-opening or new pubs on the agenda. The Beehive’s opening soon. There’s a new Wetherspoons in Whittlesea. There’s quite a lot, isn’t there?
DAVID: There is, yes. And even out of the city where I travel around there are several pubs out in the country that also have been threatened with closure and have revived as well.
PAUL: So we’ve got The Rose, which is formerly the Fountain on Burleigh Road, the Beehive, the new Wetherspoons in Whittlesea, The Bar is now Halo. HG’s well formerly HG’s, that’s re-opening soon I think as well, isn’t it?
DAVID: So I believe yes. That closed mainly due to the roadworks, the alterations to Cathedral Square. The chap who went in there just unfortunately picked the wrong time to move in there.
PAUL: Yes. Is there a recipe for success? Are all these pubs serving food? I know The Windmill in Orton Longueville has reopened and that’s doing a roaring trade, with good food as well. Is that the key to it?
DAVID: I think the pubs mainly that have re-opened, they’re all either in the process of serving food, or intend to serve food. That’s probably one of the ingredients nowadays to keep pubs going.
PAUL: Well it’s good to know that we’re bucking the trend slightly in Peterborough at the moment. David Murray from CAMRA.