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Pub regulars and local MP James Murray announce fight to reopen The Black Horse in Greenford as a pub following its closure

Following the news that much loved The Black Horse pub in Greenford has closed down, regulars and local MP James Murray are to fight to reopen it as a pub and not sold off and turned into luxury flats on the site.

Locals of The Black Horse in Oldfield Lane have expressed their shock that pub owner Fuller’s decided to close it and since the announcement was made, Mr Murray has said he has been in contact with the pub operator.

Mr Murray said: “I have spoken with other members of the Protect the Black Horse group about what action we can take immediately. We have agreed to begin by contacting other pub chains and community pub organisations to see who may be interested in buying the Black Horse. We are also getting in touch with CAMRA and Ealing Council who helped us secure the asset of community value listing.”

In a message to the local community, he said that having heard of the closure yesterday (10 January 2023), he has spoken to a director of Fuller’s today (11 January 2023) and outlined his concerns and shock. He said: “In my conversation with the Fuller’s director, I stressed the fact that, even though Fuller’s want to sell the Black Horse, the building has some protection for use as a pub. It has protection as a pub through planning policies, and through the recent ‘asset of community value’ listing that members of the local community and I secured last year.

“The director said they would be marketing the building for sale as a pub in the coming months. He said this would be done through a company called AG&G who are property specialists in pubs, bars, and restaurants. Of course, we do not know how all this will play out, so I think we should do all we can to help identify another potential suitable and willing pub landlord and push Fuller’s to sell to them.”

This is certainly not the way I hoped we would be starting the New Year, especially having had such a good time in the Black Horse in the run up to Christmas. However, I will keep working with the local community to do all I can to push for the Black Horse to be sold to a willing owner and reopen.”

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

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.”

On a local Facebook group, one local said: “It was open on Friday. I know the kitchen has been shut for a while.”

Another added: “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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