Tycoon eyes historic Preston pub for portfolio

VENUE: The Tithebarn in Lord Street, Preston, which is said to date back to 1700

VENUE: The Tithebarn in Lord Street, Preston, which is said to date back to 1700

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Business tycoon Simon Rigby has revealed he’s in talks to take over an historic Preston pub.

It is understood that Preston Council, which owns the lease of The Tithebarn in Lord Street, has given notice for the lease to come to an end and the landlord confimed to the Evening Post the premises are set to close next month.

I have enquired with Preston City Council about the possibility of taking on the property and refurbishing it in a way that is sympathetic with the wider regeneration happening in the area.

Mr Rigby

But despite worries on social media that the 18th century building is earmarked for demolition, Mr Rigby, owner of the adjacent Guild Hall complex, says his vision is to restore the building.

Mr Rigby, the multi-millionaire owner of the Villa Group, said: “I understand from the tenant that notice has been served on the place and is going to shut.

“I have enquired with Preston City Council about the possibility of taking on the property and refurbishing it in a way that is sympathetic with the wider regeneration happening in the area.

“I’m sure that it’s one of a number of options being considered by the council, but if our bid is successful, then demolition isn’t in my plans.

“It’s a historic building and I would want to fully restore it.”

A spokesman for Preston Council said: “As far as we’re aware no notice has been served, but that is between the council and the tenant and would be confidential anyway.”

Mr Rigby has recently bought the Guild Hall from Preston Council, the adjacent tower block the Guild Centre and also owns a 1.13-acre site on Church Street, which includes Lava and Ignite nightclub.

Last month, he said he wanted to make Preston Guild Hall “an oasis of arts and leisure in the heart of Lancashire”.