Last orders for popular Belper pub

Tony Caven has now departed the Bulls' Head.
Tony Caven has now departed the Bulls' Head.

A popular watering hole in Belper has closed - despite nearly 900 signatures supporting a campaign to keep it open.

The Bulls’ Head, on Belper Lane End, shut its doors last Sunday.

It is understood the company which owns the pub, The Wellington Pub Company, wants to turn it into a seven-day-a-week operation and think that a rent of £30,000 per year is justified.

Landlord Tony Laven said the support received from supporters was tremendous.

He told the Belper News: “The support from people has been phenomenal.

“But they (the owners) appear to have no intention of keeping it open.

“We’ve had lots of long-serving customers and locals saying how sad it is.”

A group, named the Patrons and Supporters of The Bull’s Head, started an online campaign to save the pub and even produced a 21-page handwritten petition with 895 signatures.

In a letter protesting against the closure, the group said: “We, the patrons of The Bull’s Head, Belper Lane End, and residents of Belper, Ambergate and surrounding areas, wish to voice our dismay and upset at the imminent closure of our beloved local public house.

“The landlord has transformed the building from a run down and frequently re-let one into a successful eating establishment and community hub, as well as ‘just a local pub’.

“We have produced a 21-page hand-signed petition of 895 signatures, and have a community Facebook page supported by 1,172.

“However, unfortunately at this point it appears that we have lost the fight to keep the staff and much-loved landlord and lady of the pub.”

Up to 17 jobs are believed to have been lost as a result of the closure.

Tony and his wife Sue are now set to open a brewery at their farm, located nearby the pub.

Criterion Asset Management, which owns The Wellington Pub Company, were contacted by the Belper News but declined to comment.