Trowbridge pub’s future is in balance
The future of Trowbridge’s The Black Pearl pub is being decided at a licensing hearing on Tuesday at 10.30am.
The pub, in Church Street, has been closed for about a month after Martin Hinds’ application to become licensee was rejected. Mr Hinds intended to take over from business partner Tammy Newbury.
The authorities said that Miss Newbury was unable to continue being licensee because she was made bankrupt last year. Mr Hinds said that he received a phone call saying his licence application was being rejected 15 minutes before a 28 day consultation ended following an objection by Wiltshire Police.
The matter will be discussed at a meeting taking place in County Hall.
Mr Hinds said: “We have been given no reason why they haven’t accepted the application. So, I expect to be granted a licence on Tuesday and we can open once again. If I’m not, they must have a personal problem with me. I should be given a fresh start and be entitled to a fair chance.
“It would be great to have our loyal customers and local people at the hearing showing support.”
Mr Hinds estimates that the closure of The Black Pearl has cost the business about £15,000 and that they have fallen behind on their rent because of lack of funds.
He said: “At the minute, we can’t make any money and this is pushing The Black Pearl on to its last legs.”
Miss Newbury said that the last few weeks had been difficult for all those involved in the pub.
She said: “It has been a very hard struggle for us and we feel like we have been victimised.”
The Black Pearl is a venue in the Trowbridge and District Pool League and the organisers hope it will still be able to host fixtures for the forthcoming season.
Russ Matthews, league chairman, said: “We have four teams who play here who would all be looking for new homes.
“Martin is great for us and we have never, ever had any problems with The Black Pearl and Tammy’s food is legendary.”
Jacqui Gallimore, Wiltshire Police’s licensing officer, said: “Wiltshire Police... our formal objection [is] that there were concerns regarding the ability of the applicant and management to fully promote the licensing objective – the prevention of crime and disorder.”
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