Licence row pub for sale

The Fleece pub in Ashton is up for auction
The Fleece pub in Ashton is up for auction

A Wigan borough rock pub whose licence was revoked by the council is to go under the hammer.

The Fleece in Ashton is being offered for sale by auction house Pugh in Salford later this month.

The Warrington Road watering hole and popular music venue is currently rented by Dragon Inns NW but has been offered with guide prices of £180,000 and £200,000.

Last year Wigan Council’s licensing committee revoked its permission to operate, citing concerns about poor management, but the venue was continuing to trade while the team in charge put together an appeal.

Dragon Inns NW director Peter McNulty, who had previously pledged to keep the pub open and turn things round, was approached for comment but did not respond.

The auction guide lists The Fleece as mainly a three-storey building which has a former stable block at the rear which in the past has been used for retail.

The pub and games room, together with a kitchen and customer toilets, are on the ground floor and the first floor is a function room which was used as the live music venue.

A further four rooms and a bathroom are located on the second floor.

The authorities took action against The Fleece last December after Ashton resident Michael Moulding requested a licence review, complaining about anti-social behaviour and loud noise late at night.

Greater Manchester Police expressed serious concerns about the way the venue was being run, identifying a long list of management failures and suggesting those in charge had little interest in implementing an action plan which had been drawn up.

A visit by GMP and the council last summer found vital security measures were lacking at the pub and examples of industry good practice were not being acted on.

In the wake of the decision Mr McNulty told the Wigan Post that things had gone wrong but he was going to spend the money required to keep it open.

He spoke of the importance of preventing town centre pubs shutting their doors and protecting The Fleece as it was one of the few venues playing rock music left in the area.

The auction is at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on February 21, starting at noon.