Group vows to save much-loved Walsall pub after protection expires

Efforts to save a much-loved pub from being lost forever are being ramped up amidst increasing fears the Walsall venue will be sold for housing.

The White Lion pub in Sandwell Street, Walsall. Photo: Gurdip Thandi
The White Lion pub in Sandwell Street, Walsall. Photo: Gurdip Thandi

Supporters of the White Lion in Sandwell Street are urging potential investors to get in touch with them and help retain the venue as a community pub business and a "social hub".

The pub was designated an asset of community value (ACV) in 2018, because of its long history as a local facility for the area.

This also meant that it couldn’t be sold without being offered to the community first.

But the Caldmore and Highgate Heritage Group was unable to raise sufficient funds despite their best efforts and the six month moratorium has now expired, which means it can be sold on the open market.

The Friends of The White Lion (Walsall) Association, set up to fight for its future, said there are concerns the building will be converted into housing and vowed to oppose any such development.

Representatives added they would work closely with anyone looking to keep it and urged potential investors to get in touch.

The White Lion has been closed for more than two years and was recently put up for sale by owners Admiral Taverns, which felt it did not have a long term future.

The Friends group hopes that the ground floor at least will be retained and reopened as part of any future development.

Mark Webster said: “The White Lion has long been a much loved jewel in the area and it has been very much missed in the community since it closed more than two years ago.

“But the group remains determined and keen for it to reopen and be retained as the fantastic pub it has been for decades for many more years to come.

“We know it can be not just a thriving business but a social hub in the heart of the community just as it had always been prior to it being shut.

“The loss of the ACV status has increased concerns that the building will be sold on the open market and converted into something which doesn’t have the pub facility as part of its plans.

“We would strongly oppose this and lodge objections should planning applications be submitted in the future.

“But we would very much like to work with anyone who could come in to take it on as a pub and urge potential investors or those looking for promising fund-raising opportunities to get in touch.

“People in and beyond Caldmore want to see the White Lion back open and we are passionate and determined to see that happen.”

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