New owner for Crown jewel Wigan pub

A Wigan company has bought an historic borough watering hole and eatery and hopes to return it to its former glory.

Monday, 24th December 2018, 10:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 5:05 pm
Publican director Gary Lewis with Save The Crown campaigner Brian Steer outside the historic pub
Publican director Gary Lewis with Save The Crown campaigner Brian Steer outside the historic pub

Publican has purchased The Crown at Worthington and plans to open it once more as a pub, restaurant and small hotel more than two years after it closed its doors.

The search is now on for someone suitable to take it over, with the company saying it will only hand the keys to the Platt Lane establishment to the right individual.

The news has been greeted with delight by residents in the area who have fought a long campaign to prevent the building either being flattened for housing or converted into apartments.

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Publican director Gary Lewis said: “We are a company whose policy is to try to keep these buildings as pubs.

“Up to now every building the business has bought has remained a pub.

“I don’t agree with buildings that are a benefit to the community or places of employment being changed into apartments or worse still knocked down for more houses.

“This building is over 150 years old and should stay up. We should build the new houses elsewhere.”

Publican says its plan is to have the Crown re-open as a pub and restaurant which is also a free house rather than being tied to a particular brewery or pub company.

It also wants the 10 bedrooms located upstairs and the function room to be returned to their former uses.

The Crown, one of the oldest drinking and eating establishments in the borough, closed in early 2016 and plans were initially submitted to the council for a housing development to go there.

That prompted a public outcry, with a residents’ group called Save The Crown being formed to block the plans with support from neighbourhood forum Standish Voice.

They are now looking forward to a brighter future for the place.

Brian Steer, one of the leaders of the Save The Crown campaign, said: “We are really grateful to Gary for having faith in The Crown and wanting to reopen it as a pub.

“Save The Crown and the local community have been working hard to make sure The Crown has a future and we believe it can return to being as popular as it was only a few years ago.

“Everyone keeps asking us when is it opening again and hopefully we can give them some good news in the coming months.”

A spokesperson for Standish Voice said: “We think this historic building has a bright future as a pub or other hospitality venture.

“We don’t need more houses in Standish, we need more places where the community can meet.

“The Crown fulfilled that for around 150 years and can do so again for 150 more.”

The Crown was mentioned in an 1868 newspaper with an application for a victualler’s licence.

It won numerous Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) awards, including regional pub of the year in 2009.