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Regulars rally to try prevent Hoxton pub closing

PUBLISHED: 12:40 26 January 2016

Regulars outside the Duke of Wellington pub in Hakney, which is facing closure. Photo: Vickie Flores

Regulars outside the Duke of Wellington pub in Hakney, which is facing closure. Photo: Vickie Flores

Vickie Flores/Archant

A rallying call has been made to prevent a popular pub which has served the community for more than 70 years from imminent closure.

Duke of Wellington pub in Hoxton, which is facing closure.Duke of Wellington pub in Hoxton, which is facing closure.

The Duke of Wellington in Nile Street, Hoxton, has been served its notice and is due to close its doors for the final time on January 30.

The future of the pub remains unclear but customers have joined forces in an attempt to save the pub.

Loyal customers Jason and Nicola Youngs have taken the lead in trying to keep the Duke of Wellington’s doors open.

The couple have been going to the pub for the past 20 years and are exhausting all possibilities to keep it open.

An online petition has been set up opposing the plans and it has now reached nearly 300 signatures in the short time it has been up.

Nicola said: “There is a real family feel to the pub, there are never any problems.

“A lot of customers are now panicking on where they are going to go.

“It’s a friendly place for people to go and everyone looks after each other.”

Jason believes that the borough has seen mass closures of pubs in the last two decades.

He added: “It’s a pub for the local community, there have been so many that have closed in this area.

“From my estimations there have been 19 pubs that have shut their doors in the last 20 years, all of them in a half mile radius.

“Virtually all these pubs are redeveloped into housing which is not affordable for locals.

“The Duke is focal point for many people across different age groups to socialise and have a drink.”

The married couple have also applied to Hackney Council for it to be credited as an ‘asset of community value’ (ACV).

An ACV status is meant to give venues an added layer of protection from becoming sold and redeveloped.

If the landowner wishes to sell a property with this status, the council must be informed, and if a group wants to buy the asset, they can trigger a six month buffer period to attempt to raise the money for the site.

John Cryne, chairman of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) North London, thinks the largest concentration of pubs closing down is in London.

He said: “The high value given to property in London means that you can take the value of a pub and double or triple it.

“So there is a danger sometimes that people feel disempowered and that they cannot do anything.

“There is a feeling that the big brother will trample all over them but there are lots of examples of people stepping in stop their pub closing.

“It’s vitally important that people get their voices heard and show that they love their pub and want it survive.”

To sign the petition, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/sodown-save-our-duke-of-wellington-now

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