Brewery giant Thwaites puts up pubs for sale

Pub and hotel owner Thwaites – recognisable to most as the brains behind the Lancaster Bomber and Nutty Black ales – has put up eight pubs for sale.

But the brewery giant has been criticised for specifying that prospective buyers of the East Lancashire outlets cannot continue to run them as pubs. The company's pubs for sale include Padiham's Victoria Hotel, Accrington's Adelphi and the Sportsman’s Arms in Blackburn.

The Campaign for Real Ale says local entrepreneurs "should at least be given the opportunity" to make a success of the pubs.

But Licensed Victuallers' Association representative Geoff Sutcliffe, himself the landlord of Blackburn's Rising Sun, told the Lancashire Telegraph a lot of the pubs for sale are in areas "that would not be viable anyway".

"I think we have got to be realistic about this," he added. "This is a business decision. Thwaites would not sell a pub if it was viable."

The practice of placing restrictions on the future of pubs for sale was slammed by MPs earlier this year, leading Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns to scrap it. The latter, Britain’s second biggest pub operator, has put up nearly 400 underperforming pubs for sale in the past year.