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The desolate pubs that closed before Covid

Covid has ravaged the hospitality industry - according to data from the Office for National Statistics fewer than a quarter of pubs are still not confident they will survive another three months.
The Wheatsheaf pub has now been closed for 18 months

While 24% of pubs believing they will be in business at the end of summer is not an optimistic figure it is at least a substantial rise from February, when it was just 1%.

Even before the pandemic struck the industry was struggling, and in Peterborough there were several venues that closed just beforehand - and have never reopened.

On Eastfield Road doubt remains over the future of a pub premises which has fallen into disrepair - and its owners said there were no plans to reopen it yet.

A Greene King spokesperson said there was no update on the Wheatsheaf reopening and whether a new tenant and leaseholder for the premises could be found.

The pub is in a sorry state, having shut its doors pre-Covid.

It closed at the start of 2020 having invested more than £100,000 in refurbishment the previous September, and it has remained unused during the intervening 15 months. The pub, which dates back to the early 1900s, has been boarded up since then.

Reader David Harman sent us photographs last month of the site looking dilapidated, with weeds growing on benches and even chunks taken out of the wall.

Peterborough Matters visited yesterday, and the site has not improved.


thumbnail_IMG_5054The abandoned front area of the Wheatsheaf. By John Baker

The spokesperson said that the industry would continues to review how the hospitality sector recovered as restrictions were lifted over the coming months - hopefully for good on June 21.

The spokesperson said: “We’re grateful to the person who has sent these photos. 

"It’s clearly been a difficult time while pubs are closed and people furloughed but now restrictions are lifting we will look to tidy up the area around the pub.”

The Wheatsheaf is by no means the only hospitality venue that lays dormant, with some in the heart of the city centre.

The Handmade Burger Company closed its Queensgate/Westgate branch last January - one of 18 to go when the chain fell into administration.

At the time joint administrator David Griffiths said that the casual dining market in the UK had experienced "significant challenges" over the last four years, largely as a result of overcapacity in the sector, and sales had halved in that period.

The venue had been known as the Old Still until 2015 when Handmade Burger took over. The tables, cutlery and menu are still in place from nearly 18 months ago. 

There is no update on potential new tenants, and neither is there any news on Bills in Cathedral Square despite repeated requests to the company's press team for further information. 

Other venues closing pre-Covid include the Woodston pub and the Old Temple City on St John's Street, which still has the signs up from years ago.


thumbnail_IMG_3225The Handmade Burger Company sign and menus are still in place. Photo: John Baker