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Midlands gastropub to be raffled off by owner

19 March 2009
Midlands gastropub to be raffled off by owner

A gastropub in the Midlands is being raffled off by its owner in a prize draw after she failed to sell the property through an agent.

The Punch-owned Arbor Lights pub in Walsall, which makes a profit of £50,000 a year, had been marketed with a property agent for £340,000.

However, proprietor Jude Hanly said two potential buyers failed to secure the necessary funding prompting her to raffle it off.

She now wants to give away the 11-year leasehold, which includes all fixtures and fittings, in a prize draw for £25 a ticket and hopes to sell 20,000 tickets in total.

"We will give £1 per ticket to charity and after running costs of the competition have been deducted we're hoping to make around £360,000," Hanly said.

Hanly added that if she fails to sell 20,000 tickets, the second prize will be the cash made from the sold tickets minus the charity donation and running costs of the competition.

Stephen Broome, director of hospitality and leisure for Pricewaterhouse Copper, said the concept of raffling off a pub wasn't new but added that while he had heard of pubs going down this route, he was unsure whether any had done so successfully.

"It certainly is a very novel way to raise awareness of the fact that the pub is for sale but in the current economic climate there might be a limited appeal for people as there is a lot of risk involved," he warned.

Other pubs currently being raffled off include the Plash Inn in Wales, the High Park Tavern in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and the Filly Inn near Lymington in the New Forest.

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By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kestin Kuhn here.

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