CCTV row could force closure of one of Leeds’s oldest pubs

The future of one of Leeds’s oldest pubs is in the balance after it was issued a closure notice.

Pub landlord Mickey Thompson, who had organised a fundraiser for a new speaker system, fears The Cardigan Arms could close on Monday. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Leeds City Council has stated that The Cardigan Arms, in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, will be forced to close by Monday December 1 if issues with its current CCTV system are not resolved.

The pub, which dates back to the 18th Century, had been in the midst of a revival after new pub landlord Mickey Thompson took over its running in August.

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He set about booking live music acts and fundraising for a new speaker system, but now faces the prospect of losing his job unless the pub’s owners can find £1,200 for new CCTV.

He claims council licensing officers, who attended the pub on October 21, merely suggested he install new cameras and sent no official notice requesting work was done until last Friday – giving him just 10 days to fix it.

“I’ve got to get my boss to pay for this which will be hard, my pub’s not making loads of money, we’re struggling,” he said. “I’m gutted, I’ve got this now hanging over my head and if the boss says no, this pub’s gone.”

The Grade II listed pub, which is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s National Inventory of heritage pubs, is due to host its PA fundraising weekend from Friday to Sunday which could prove its last days in operation. It includes a psychic night and live entertainment evening.

A council spokesman said officers informed Mr Thompson of a number of issues with the CCTV in October, which would need to be addressed, but “despite a number of requests” the work was not carried out.

The spokesman explained that only after officers were unable to gain access to the CCTV on a visit to the pub on Monday did they issue the closure notice.

He said: “Leeds City Council is keen to work with all licensed premises but must ensure the safety of staff and customers.”