One of the last “football pubs” in Preston has been sold for conversion to flats.
The Royal Garrison, at the junction of Sir Tom Finney Way and Watling Street Road, in Fulwood, has been bought for around £300,000 after being closed and boarded up for the past two years.
Agents Fleurets, acting for owners Heineken, revealed they showed 35 interested parties around the premises before the sale became a three-way contract race.
The successful bidder, investor Mr Ali Shan, is hoping to convert and re-open the three-storey building as apartments, subject to planning permission.
The Garrison was one of a host of pubs which served Preston North End supporters for years on matchdays. But as the number of customers has dwindled in recent years - along with attendances at Deepdale - trade has become difficult in the area.
Two years ago the Deepdale Hotel shut its doors and is now earmarked as a Muslim education centre.
At the time one regular said: “Apart from matchdays, trade was becoming very slow. There just weren’t the numbers of drinkers using the Deepdale anymore.”
When the Garrison finally closed its doors two years ago, the landlady of the Sumners Hotel directly opposite, mourned its passing and sympathised with the demise of a fellow football pub.
“I think because it’s a football pub we do better at weekends, whether it’s a North End match or football on the television.
“We take just about enough to keep afloat,” she said. “It is quite tough. But I don’t think we are the only ones, there are quite a few struggling.”