'Completely in the dark' about future of Foundry Arms pub in Scunthorpe town centre
Talks will resume this week between North Lincolnshire Council and consultant surveyors Scanlans over the future of the partially-demolished Foundry Arms pub in Scunthorpe's Library Square.
Local publicans Chris Mappouras and his son Andrew who had to close the business in July last year insist they want their £250,000 development with child-friendly facilities re-built and their former 15 employees reinstated.
Andrew said: "We are completely in the dark about what is happening. We were told that tender details for the rebuilding of the two children's play areas had been issued in the summer – but we have not heard anything since.
"We cannot keep standing the losses"
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Andrew and his father took out a two-year lease on the council-owned building which started life in 1973 as The Bell and Anchor.
The lease was negotiated with Scanlans acting as receivers on behalf of the Lloyds-TSB Bank, after the previous operator went bankrupt.
The Foundry Arms was closed after just 13 days of trading after council experts ruled the building was unsafe. Then demolition work on the adjoining multi-storey car park in Carlton Street was extended to the play areas of the pub.
Neil Inman, spokesman for Scanlans, said: "Acting for the bank in its role as receiver, Scanlans found an occupier who took a two-year lease on the building with an option to purchase.
"The council gave its blessing to the arrangement, which involved the new tenants changing the use of the building from a pub to a cafe and day centre.
"As part of the Foundry Arms building structure lay beneath the multi-storey car park, and was demolished along with the car park, what is left of the building can now no longer be used as the tenants originally intended.
"As receivers acting on behalf of our client we are continuing to negotiate a financial settlement with the council. A satisfactory settlement will provide adequate financial recompense to the receivers and tenants and will enable the council to carry out their plan to redevelop the site.
"If agreement to appropriate compensation is not reached, the council will be obliged to reinstate the building.
"We are due to meet the council again on October 26 for further discussions."
A council spokesman said: "We do not yet have a starting date for the building work at The Foundry Arms. We are in ongoing talks with our tenants.
"Work will not start until they're concluded.
"We are not able to give any further details."