A Sunderland pub looks set to close after owners are still to find new operator

A Victorian Grade II listed pub looks to close its doors indefinitely as efforts to attract new operators have so far come to nothing.

By Tony Gillan
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 11:45
The sign on the Ship Isis confirms that there are still no takers for the Ship Isis.

There had been hopes, that the 134 year-old Ship Isis in Silksworth Row would be taken over by another business – but instead it looks set to serve its last drinks on Saturday, July 27.

The Ship Isis first opened in 1885 and in February the pub was named as CAMRA’s Sunderland and South Tyneside Pub of the Year for 2019.

The building now has a sign on its front confirming it is available to let.

Sir David Bell. Vice-chancellor of the University of Sunderland, who own the building.

However, when it is rented again it will be as a pub and there are no plans to use it for any other purpose as had been feared.

The two-floored venue is currently run by Camerons Brewery. However, the Hartlepool-based company issued a statement to the Echo earlier this month, saying it will stop trading at the pub to focus on other areas of the business.

Camerons’ lease to run a business there expires on Wednesday, July 31, and they will not be renewing it. Now the owners, the University of Sunderland, are looking for new operators to rent the building.

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Six people are employed at the site, while one member of staff is to take up a new position at another Camerons pub in Durham city.

The building sits in the Millfield ward of Coun Niall Hodson, who is keen to see the venue continue trading as a pub.

He said: "The Ship Isis is an iconic, historic community pub that is a vital part of Sunderland's heritage.

“It will be devastating if it closes for good, which is why I want to do everything possible to make sure the pub stays open, alive and thriving.

“If there’s no continuity of the lease it means the building could sit empty.”

The university’s vice-chancellor, Sir David Bell said: “We are currently marketing the premises, via a specialist licensed premises agent, with some interest being shown by potential tenants wishing to reopen the building for its current use.”