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Greene King renames four pubs over racism concerns

15 February 2021 by
Greene King renames four pubs over racism concerns

Greene King has renamed four of its pubs over concerns their names held racist connotations.

In January the brewery and pub group announced it would be changing the name of three pubs called the Black Boy and one called the Blacks Head.

Local community groups helped create a shortlist of options and more than 7,000 people participated on a public vote.

As a result of the poll, the Black Boy pub in Bury St Edmunds will be renamed the West Gate; the Black Boy in Shinfield, Berkshire will become the Shinfield Arms; while the Black Boy in Sudbury, Suffolk is being renamed the Lady Elizabeth.

The Blacks Head in Wirksworth, Derbyshire is taking the name the Quarryman.

Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton said: "Despite the obscure origins of the pubs' previous names, from the research we carried out it was clear that there was a perception today that the old names were linked with racism, which is why we knew we had to take this step if we wanted to continue on our journey to become a truly anti- racist organisation."

It is likely to be a few months until the pub signs are changed due to the time needed to secure planning permission.

Greene King has vowed to improve its diversity and inclusion policies after it emerged last year that its founder Benjamin Greene, who launched the company in 1799, profited from the slave trade in the West Indies.

Last August it set up a five-year agreement with the Prince's Trust, pledging to create 1,000 opportunities for young people.

An employee-led group called Unity, which represents Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, was consulted on how the pub names were perceived.

Greene King is based in Bury St Edmunds and employs around 40,000 people across the UK.

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