Regional mayor and Campaign for Real Ale launch scheme to protect historic pubs

The demolished Crooked House pub near Dudley (PA)
The demolished Crooked House pub near Dudley (PA)

Pub lovers in the West Midlands are being encouraged to help protect the region’s historic pubs under a “List Your Local” campaign.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) have joined forces in the wake of the Crooked House fire and demolition to ensure pubs of value that are at risk are properly protected.

As part of the initiative, residents are being encouraged to submit the pubs they believe are of historical significance through the WMCA’s website:

The WMCA and Camra have already drawn up a target list of suitable heritage pubs which, alongside the public’s recommendations, will be examined on a case-by-case basis to see if and how they can be protected.

Crooked House pub fire
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, speaking about the Crooked House fire last month (PA)

One of the pubs identified includes The New Inn, in Erdington, where regulars are campaigning to save the pub from property developers.

Options include heritage listing, asset of community value listing, or community ownership.

Commenting on the scheme, the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “Protecting our local pubs isn’t just about preserving bricks and mortar; it’s about safeguarding the heart and soul of our communities.

“That’s why we’ve teamed up with Camra to take action in the wake of the Crooked House case to ensure we do not see a repeat of a beloved pub being put at risk of being consigned to history.

“We believe we have already identified some of the most at-risk historical pubs in the region, but we need people to make their recommendations to us to ensure we are helping to protect the right venues.”

Gary Timmins, director of pub and club campaigns at Camra, said: “The complete destruction of the iconic Crooked House pub has brought a nationwide scandal to the forefront of people’s minds.

“Developers continue to flout the rules with pubs routinely converted or demolished without permissions in place, denying people the chance to save their local.”

Crooked House pub fire
People inspect the rubble at The Crooked House in Himley, near Dudley, after its demolition (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Marco Longhi, the Conservative MP for Dudley North, is campaigning for a new law to better protect heritage venues after the Crooked House fire in neighbouring South Staffordshire.

He said: “The events surrounding the Crooked House have shone a light on our current frameworks and it is clear that change is necessary.

“I am delighted that Mayor Andy Street is lending his support to bring about change and I very much look forward to working with him and his team. This campaign is a great idea and I would like to engineer a more fit-for-purpose listing system with wider protections that go beyond listings.”