Pool fans' rally kicks off pub revival battle

A group of pub regulars have launched a bid to revive an iconic Blackpool venue.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:59 pm
The Blue Room

The Blue Room in Church Street closed in September last year – the second time the bar, once one of the resort’s top live music venues, had shut.

It was re-opened two years ago after the doors were closed in 2013 due to financial difficulties.

And now a dedicated group are hoping to kick start the process to relaunch the boozer as Blackpool’s first co-operative pub.

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The Blue Room pub

The group, made up of former regulars, came together following a protest march of Blackpool Football Club fans which started outside the venue – which under is where the club was founded under its former name The Stanley Arms .

A spokesman said: “The march met outside the Blue Room.
“A few of us who were regulars looked at the pub, shut up, and thought how great it would be to get it open again.

“It’s all really come from there. We’ve looked at other pubs around the country and think this is the way we could do it. The number of co-operative pubs in the UK is growing, as you’d expect with the rate of closures

“The Blue Room is something unique for Blackpool and it would be fantastic to get it back.”

The Blue Room pub

The pub has historic significance to the resort, as the founding venue of the Seasiders, and was once at the heart of the town’s live music scene.

Both are important factors to the team behind the re-opening push.

The spokesman said: “This is a unique pub. It’s where Blackpool FC was founded and it’s a venue for local people.

“So much is made of the tourist economy, but we want to do this for Blackpool, for the people who live here.”

The group is currently carrying out an online consultation to find out if there would be support for a re-opening bid.

If results are positive theywill be the need to raise significant cash to purchase the bar.

The group behind the online survey does not have experience in the hospitality business.

“We are just getting the ball rolling,” said the spokesman.

“At the moment we want to hear what people would want, whether there is support.

“The next stage is to buy the pub and we’d hope to come to a reasonable deal. Even so we’re talking a six figure sum to buy the premises.”

Co-operative pubs have become an increasingly popular way for communities to get involved in saving their local watering hole.

The first pub to be taken over by the community was The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket, Cumbria, which was taken over by a collective of around 150 drinkers in 2003.

As of July 2016, there were 42 co-operative pubs open and trading in the UK. The Victoria pub in St Annes was saved from potential development when it was listed as an Asset of Community Value after a campaign by punters

A co-operative pub is owned and controlled by a large number of people from within the community, potentially hundreds, with decisions taken on a democratic basis.

They tend to be run by full-time managers or tenants with the support of members of the community who volunteer.

For more on the Blue Room and to take part in the consultation visit www.facebook.com/theblueroombpl