This campaign is shutting down, and in due course these web-pages and email contacts will also disappear. In summary:
Sam Smith Brewery shows no interest in Friends of the Anchor, so we are entirely in their hands as owners of the premises.
If anyone (individual or other party) has their own funding and business plan for The Anchor Inn, they need to be ready to move, if and when the brewery should decide to sell-up, but there is no sign or history of them doing so. (PS – there are in fact private parties with such funded proposals but, unless they are looking for public shares, these remain confidential.)
Whether the brewery, or a new owner, plans to re-open as a pub with or without food, their first challenge will be to attract customers since the original customer base has clearly moved on.
Although in general there are protections for changes of use of long-established community pubs and support from CAMRA (noted previously in these pages), the east end of Guisborough high street (Westgate and thereabouts) has many pub and hospitality businesses in an already competitive market, and it is very unlikely that any planning enquiry could support any public funding or compulsory purchase as a community asset. Beyond that, we suspect the only public interest would be as neighbours concerned with the state of a disused property on their doorstep, and the brewery is anyway notorious for ignoring public interest orders.
So, it nevertheless remains sad to see what looks like the end of an old Guisborough institution. For any further information contact the brewery itself, initially via area manager Ali Whittle at The Lobster in Redcar or the ex-web-master of these pages Ian Glendinning.
Thanks to those of you that signed up as Friends of the Anchor, and thanks to CAMRA for their interest in supporting our plight.