Historic Sunderland pub sold and regulars told it will close

Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre. Picture by Jane Coltman
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A historic Sunderland pub has been sold - and regulars say they have been told it will close within days.

A spokesman for The Londonderry Hotel, in High Street West, confirmed it was changing hands but not what would happen afterwards.

Regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.

Regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.

The spokesman said: “An offer has been accepted on The Londonderry pub.

“The business will remain open for trading until completion, expected early August.”

Designed by Sunderland architect Hugh Taylor Decimus Hedley, the current Londonderry was built at the turn of the 20th Century and replaced an earlier pub of the same name. It is named after coal mine owner the Marquess of Londonderry.

Ian Walton and wife Jan, from Ryhope, are regulars at the pub and Jan has set up a Facebook page ‘Save Our Londonderry.’

An offer has been accepted on The Londonderry pub. The business will remain open for trading until completion, expected early August.

Spokesman

Ian said news of the closure had broken over the weekend.

“We were told it would be closing on July 31,” said Ian.

“All we have been told is that ‘a regeneration trust’ has bought it.”

Ian believes that to be the Music Arts and Culture (Mac) Trust, which is redeveloping the nearby old fire station as an arts centre and carried out an award-winning refit of the Dun Cow, next to the Sunderland Empire.

Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Trust’s website refers to its vision to create ‘a Music, Arts and Cultural Quarter (MACQ) in the centre of Sunderland that will restore an important section of the city, re-establishing the area’s previous importance as the Edwardian heart and soul of the city.’

It lists the Londonderry as one of the buildings that will be included and describes it as ‘amongst the finest examples of Edwardian Baroque pub architecture in Britain.’

“We were told it is going to close and it is no longer going to be a pub,” said Ian.

“We have been told it is going to be a restaurant.”

The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.

The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.

Ian said he admired the Mac Trust’s work with the Dun Cow and fire station but did not believe there was any need to close the Londonderry.

“The Dun Cow was, to all intents and purposes, closed and the fire station is an old building,” he said.

“The Londonderry is a going concern, that’s the difference. Now the staff are losing their jobs.

“I can’t understand the reason for it.”

The Echo has been unable to contact the Mac Trust for comment.

Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Ian Walton and fellow regulars at The Londonderry in Sunderland city centre. Picture by Jane Coltman