CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save an iconic Otley pub for the community are calling on the brewery selling it off to lower the asking price.

The Manor House pub in Otley was put up for sale by owners Thwaites of Blackburn last June with a price tag of £300,000.

But campaigners including Otley Pub Club and Otley Community Pub Group, who want the traditional local pub to re-open, says that the price should be dropped significantly to attract a buyer to run it as a going concern.

Greg Mulholland, President of Otley Pub Club said that recent surveys done on the building have revealed extensive repairs need carrying out and said this points to a failure to maintain the building - and as a result the asking price needs to be slashed.

He said that one interested party who would have kept the historic pub open has decided not to proceed because of the state of the building.

Mr Mulholland said: “It’s deeply disappointing that the state of the Manor House pub led to an excellent company having to walk away, when they really wanted to buy and reopen it.

“It’s now known that the building, which is Grade II listed, is in a poor state having been neglected with repairs not being done when they should have been.

“The cost of repairing the building is very significant and as a result Thwaites, who have failed to properly maintain the building, must drop the asking price accordingly.”

Issues include water coming in from the roof, damp inside the building, and cement mortar pointing which would ideally need to be replaced with lime mortar.

A meeting has been organised by the Otley Community Pub Group for 7.30pm on Wednesday April 12 at Shadow Brewing, opposite the Manor House, to plan the next stages of the campaign to push for a lower price on the pub.

Otley Community Pub Group has been campaigning to make the pub — which dates back to the 19th Century — a community pub, and for this to happen it must be shown that keeping the pub open will benefit the local community and involve residents in activities and services.

In other successful bids to get community pub designation these have included childcare facilities, Post Office services and other activities beneficial to the community.

Lisa Herries, coordinator of the Otley Community Pub Group said: “We had put the community campaign on hold whilst there was an offer for the Manor House as a pub, but now that this has been withdrawn, we are planning to relaunch it.

“The recent community purchase of East Wood shows that the community in Otley will come together to save important local assets and we hope that the same will happen to save a historic pub.

“We hope people will support the campaign and come to the meeting on 12th April and also email us at If the Otley community get behind this, then together we can secure Otley’s first community pub.”

Mr Mulholland added: “It’s clear that the Manor can and should have a successful future as a pub, but for this to happen, it needs to be sold at an honest price that allows for it to be bought, repaired and viably returned to use as a vibrant and unique community focused pub.

“We urge Thwaites to do the right thing and sell the Manor at a price that reflects the state of the building to allow it to be repaired and to continue to serve the community on the East side of Otley as it has for around 150 years.”

Thwaites have been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press.