Community celebrate Stevenage pub reprieve

A PUB threatened with closure has won a reprieve after a successful campaign by regulars to save it for as long as possible.

The King Pin in Archer Road, Stevenage will be pulling pints for another two years after the borough council agreed to extend its licence, landlord Leigh Chitty said.

The pub, which was bought by the authority last year from Greene King as part of future plans to redevelop the surrounding neighbourhood, was scheduled to close before Christmas. But locals mounted a campaign to fight the decision, saying the pub was the heart of the community and should not stand empty for years.

Mr Chitty celebrated with campaigners in the pub.

“I made everyone come in the pub and then told them the news,” he said. “They were elated. We had a few tears.”

Archer Road resident, Margaret Allen, who Mr Chitty thanked for organised a petition against the closure, was there on the night.

She said: “We went in and it was bursting at the seams. After 10 minutes he hushed the pub and told us all the news. Well they went mad. It was brilliant – they were all so happy.”

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When asked about the move, Stevenage Borough Council said officers are still in final negotiations over the deal between the authority and pub management company Bar and Taverns.

But Mr Chitty said: “As far as we are aware, my boss has said to us the council have said we can keep the pub open for a minimum of two years.

“This is what you can achieve when you take on the big guns.”