Former city pub up for auction

The Friary.
The Friary.

Lancaster residents wanting to keep a former city pub from being sold to housing developers have suggested crowdsourcing to buy it as a community venture.

The Friary in St Leonardgate, which closed last September, was based in a grade 2 listed 18th century converted church and was part of the Scream chain, operated by the Stonegate Pub Company chain.

The former Victorian church is now due to be auctioned off by Eddisons Property Auctions of Leeds on September 8, with a guide price of £275,000.

Members of Facebook’s Lancaster Past and Present group have aired concerns that the building will be sold off for student housing, and some have suggested a community buyout to keep the property in safe hands.

Vix Porter said: “If we got enough people together to chip in £100 or less we could make this a community place and stop anyone buying it for student housing.

“This page alone counts for 10,109 people, if every member put in £50 that would be £505,450. Now I know not every member has even that but I’d be willing to put in a little more and maybe others would.”

Will Holloway said: “Turn it back into a bar/nightclub. Lancaster desperately needs more decent places to go on a night out.”

He also suggested turning it into an indoor climbing centre, while Ben Freeman said it would make “a great music venue”.

Karen Spencer said: “It needs to be a community space.”

And Becky Haslam said: “It needs to be a church!”