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Ealing North MP James Murray writes to 10 pub companies in fight to save and reopen The Black Horse in Greenford

Following the news last month that much loved The Black Horse pub in Greenford has closed down, local MP for Ealing North James Murray has today (7 February 2023) said he has written to 10 pub companies in an attempt to get their interest in saving the pub.   Locals fear if the pub is not saved, the pub and the land will be developed into luxury flats on the site.

Announcing his action, Mr Murray told supporters of The Black Horse:

“Today I have written to 10 pub companies, appealing to them to take over the Black Horse in Greenford.

“We were all shocked and upset at the pub suddenly being closed in January. Its closure followed long-running rumours that Fuller’s were looking to sell the pub. Over the last 18 months, I and other members of ‘Protect the Black Horse’ have been trying to get protections in place for the Black Horse. Last summer, we were successful in getting it listed as an ‘asset of community value’ by Ealing Council.

“After the pub closed, I spoke with Fuller’s to stress that, despite their plans to sell the Black Horse in the coming months, the building still has protection for use as a pub, including through the ‘asset of community value’ listing. Fuller’s have confirmed their immediate intention is to market the building for sale as a pub.

“In my letter, I have appealed to other pub companies to help secure the future of the Black Horse. With the right business model, this pub could be a great success once again. I very much hope that we will be able to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Black Horse in 2026 with a pint the reopened pub.”

The letter follows the announcement by pub operator on 10 January 2023 to close The Black Horse and put it up for sale.

In a comment on the closure of The Black Horse in Greenford, a spokesperson for Fuller’s told EALING.NEWS: “Shutting pubs is not something that comes easy to us at Fuller’s – and we have closed very few over the years. But from time to time, we reach an impasse with a site that is just no longer viable as a business – and The Black Horse is a case in point.

“We have been running this pub since 1848 – although the site today bears little resemblance to the original pub. The area has continually changed, and despite some loyal, local support, The Black Horse remains loss-making and we have no alternative than to close it and put the pub on the market for sale.

“We are sorry to be disappointing the few regulars in the local community that do still use The Black Horse. We have tried to reinvigorate the site many times over the years – but we really have run out of road, and we have no alternative than to sell.”

A message on The Black Horse website says “the pub is simply no longer viable and we have made the difficult decision to close”.

The Black Horse Greenford
The Black Horse Greenford

On a local Facebook group, one local said: “Fullers don’t care , now they are only estate, agents, very sad and short sighted with so many new flats being built”

Black Horse Pub campaign
Previous campaign to save Black Horse Pub in Greenford

Last August, a community campaign to make The Black Horse, listed as an “asset of community value” in order to give it extra protection from being sold off and redeveloped was achieved.

At the time, Mr Murray said, while it didn’t guarantee the pub would stay open, it would allow the community to bid for the pub should it be for sale. “Being an asset of community value does not provide absolute protection for pubs. But it does mean that if Fuller’s tried to sell the Black Horse, we can block them for six months. This would give us time to try to put together a community bid to buy the pub instead.”

In 2021 locals raised concern that pub owner Fuller’s had been looking to sell The Black Horse.

At the time, the pub chain said: “We are surprised to hear about the petition. As a long-standing owner and operator of pubs we only rarely sell sites, our preference is to invest and grow our share from competitors. Inevitably we do review our estate on a regular basis, but if we can see a strong future, particularly around strong local community engagement, we like to invest for the long term.”

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