Save our pubs: ‘Future of Doncaster’s pubs rests with younger drinkers’

Colin Kingshott, the manager of The Plough pub, West Laith Gate.
Colin Kingshott, the manager of The Plough pub, West Laith Gate.
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A pub manager has urged the next generation of pub-goers to use traditional pubs – before they disappear.

Colin Kingshott, who has been the manager at The Plough, West Laith Gate, for 10 months, says it will be up to younger drinkers to save traditional pubs.

We are currently campaigning to save the town’s locals after many closures in recent years.

Mr Kingshott, said: “The problem is that a lot of the younger people don’t want traditional pubs, they want loud music and games machines.

“We do have a number of younger drinkers who always start off in here before they go around town, which is nice, but we need more to see the value of pubs like this. If not, traditional pubs will be finished in the next 25 to 30 years.”

Mr Kingshott’s comments come as Doncaster CAMRA revealed the group is trying to secure ‘protected status’ for seven community pubs.

Asset of Community Value status – ACV – means the pub’s owner must offer the community the chance to buy the site so it can still be used as a pub before it can be redeveloped .

Gordon Sharpe, pubs protection officer for Doncaster CAMRA, said: “Three applications have been submitted to Doncaster Council and we are awaiting news on them.

“Two more applications are with CAMRA headquarters and another two are about to be submitted. There are many more to be looked at. I’ve a shortlist of half a dozen to visit in the coming weeks and the nominations list is added to quite often.”

The Plough, which is on the National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors as it has retained a 1950s style for many years, was one of the first Doncaster pubs to be granted ACV status.

But Mr Kingshott has admitted the status will only protect pubs for so long.

“I think if anything were to happen now my customers would step in, but I can’t say what will happen in 10 years when the lease ends. I can only hope it would be kept in safe hands,” he said.

According to the latest figures released by CAMRA, 31 pubs are now closing every week in Britain.

Mr Sharpe said a number of Doncaster pubs are currently under threat of closure, but it is impossible to say how many.

He added: “I’ve visited a lot of pubs in recent months, many of which are really struggling. Not just because of a decline in custom but because they are forced to buy their beer through the company they work for – this not only makes the prices higher than buying direct but they are also limited as to what beers they can have.”

Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton has called for residents to be given a say in what happens to pubs in their area – even those which do not have protected status.

She said: “While pubs listed as Assets of Community Value are protected, I believe that local communities should have a straightforward way of having a say in what happens to their local pub rather than having to go through a burdensome and bureaucratic process. I also believe that further action is needed to ensure that large pub companies treat publicans more fairly.”

Ms Winteron has previously said pubs are ‘vital’ for communities.