Historic Leeds pub may have to close

1 june 2011.'The Chemic Tavern, Leeds.
1 june 2011.'The Chemic Tavern, Leeds.
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A HISTORIC pub in Leeds is under threat of closure.

Landlords at The Chemic Tavern in Woodhouse fear they may have to close due to a huge spike in business rates.

Charlotte Stanley, 32, is co-director of DBBA Ltd, which runs the pub.

She said: “Last month we received our business rates bill for the year. This bill has been increased by a staggering 31 per cent and it’s killing us.

“We are in the process of appealing our new rates but this is a lengthy procedure and we fear we don’t have enough time to see the appeal through.”

Former Chemic Tavern bar staff Kate Riley, 32, and Robert Wood, 23, joined Charlotte to take over the pub two years ago after they heard it was in danger of closing.

Since announcing their struggle on Facebook, they have been inundated with support from the local community and a meeting was held last night to brainstorm ideas to help save it.

Charlotte added: “It’s a very friendly, local pub and everyone knows each other and helps each other.

“That’s where the passion behind it came from in the first place.”

The traditional pub on Johnston Street has become known for hosting regular gigs and supporting local musicians. It was named Best Pub in Leeds by Welcome to Yorkshire last year and is part of the Yorkshire Ale Trail.

It is believed the pub was named after the nearby Johnston’s Chemical Works factory, which made vitriol, or sulphuric acid.

The factory and pub were established in the early 19th century.