Former Crown pub bought by Middlesbrough Council for £750,000

The former Crown pub in Middlesbrough was bought by the council for £750,000. Credit: Google

A vacant and decaying pub has been bought by a local authority for £750,000.

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston said he was hopeful the former Crown pub, on Linthorpe Road, will have a bright future following the purchase.

The pub closed in January 2015 and has since been empty. Middlesbrough Council voted to buy the venue last month.

The council has taken an interest in the heritage asset, which was originally built for Elite Cinemas in 1923, because the cost of the investment required to bring it back into use means it is not a reasonable prospect for the private sector.

Mr Preston said: “Protecting our history is essential to the future success of our town. And that’s why we’ve stepped in to buy the old ABC/Crown from private owners who let it rot. I won’t stand by and let buildings we know and love be demolished and replaced by monstrosities.

“Almost everyone has special memories of queuing up outside the old ABC or Elite to see blockbuster films. My main memory is queuing up here to see Jaws as a kid.

“£750,000 is a lot of money but I absolutely believe buying it was the right thing to do to preserve Middlesbrough’s past and invest in our future.

“We’re in talks with interested parties and I’m hopeful that we can announce a really bright future for the building soon.”

Last month, it was revealed in a report that ideas for the space included an indoor marketplace, educational spaces, or a cultural performance venue.

The former Crown pub has made it onto a list of council assets that could be transferred to the Middlesbrough Development Corporation (MDC), a new body that is in the pipeline to speed up regeneration in the heart of the town.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority, which is spearheading the MDC, secured £8m of government cash earlier this month to develop the area of Gresham behind the pub. Plans are being drawn up for a complex of apartments, townhouses, and food and drink outlets at the site.

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