The Cross Pipes, Otley: 18th-century Yorkshire pub is saved from development after locals band together to buy it

One of the oldest pubs in the Leeds area has been saved from closure and redevelopment after a local consortium managed to buy it.

The Cross Pipes in Otley was in receivership after its last owner gave up the historic inn, and the building’s administrators were able to offer it for sale to parties who did not wish to continue to run it as a public house.

Otley Pub Club members feared that developers could buy the site, which dates back to 1762, and convert it into housing because Asset of Community Value restrictions did not apply due to the business having been liquidated.

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The receivers were due to auction The Cross Pipes to the highest bidder on July 12, but after ‘tense’ negotiations, agreed to accept an offer from a consortium of local business owners who have pledged to refurbish and re-open the pub.

Members of the local consortium who have bought the pubMembers of the local consortium who have bought the pub
Members of the local consortium who have bought the pub

It closed in 2020 after the last licensee, who had bought the building’s freehold from Admiral Taverns, was unable to repay a loan.

The consortium had to significantly exceed the £240,000 asking price before the deal was concluded.

The new owners will now add letting rooms and stock local ales.

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Otley Pub Club chair Rob Skinner said: “It’s wonderful news that the Cross Pipes has now been bought as a pub by the local consortium. We are delighted that our campaign to save this unique and historic pub has worked and we want to say a huge thanks to the new owners for investing in The Cross Pipes and in our community. We also want to thank Alex Sobel MP, Otley Bid, the Campaign for Pubs and Bradford CAMRA for their support with our campaign.

The Cross Pipes' new owners celebrateThe Cross Pipes' new owners celebrate
The Cross Pipes' new owners celebrate

“We look forward to seeing the new owners’ plans come to fruition and to have the Cross Pipes fully refurbished and open again when complete and we can’t wait to visit”.

Phil Lister, who has co-ordinated the bid on behalf of the new owners, added: “We are delighted to be the new owners of the historic Cross Pipes and once we get the keys, we will focus on refurbishing the pub and making it a great pub that the community in Otley can be proud of.

“We want to say a huge thanks to Otley Pub Club and to all who supported their campaign to save this unique and important pub. We are confident that with investment and the right offer, that the Cross Pipes will be a big success and we hope local people will support us and we look forward to working with Otley Pub Club and the local community”.

Campaigners have also called for the law to change so that no historic pub can be converted or demolished if a potential operator wishes to continue licensed trading.