Confidence that historic Portsmouth pub will reopen its doors

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GOOD news is in store for beer lovers after it was revealed a historic city pub could be reopened by the end of the month.

Enterprise Inns, which owns The Fountain, in London Road, North End, made the announcement during a recruitment day held for interested parties wanting to find out more.

ON THE MARKET From left, Linda Lord of Enterprise Inns, with Anne and David Westcott, who popped in to find information for their son Sam Westcott. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (1461-2)

ON THE MARKET From left, Linda Lord of Enterprise Inns, with Anne and David Westcott, who popped in to find information for their son Sam Westcott. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (1461-2)

Prospective publicans got the chance to chat about pubs that the company had on the market at The Royal Albert, in Albert Road, Southsea.

Although interest in The Fountain wasn’t particularly high at the event, groups of people had toured the venue earlier in the day with a keen interest in taking over the lease.

Tony Warnants, regional manager for Enterprise Inns, said: ‘I would like to think we will open it again by the end of the month.

‘Then after that, we intend to spend some money on the place.’

As previously reported, the pub closed in November following a dispute between Enterprise and then-landlord Pat Wears over maintenance costs.

The pub company is advertising the cost of The Fountain’s lease at £16,000 for the first year and £22,000 for the years after.

Mr Warnants said he’s after a landlord or landlady who know how to run the pumps and get the community involved.

‘It has been a great community pub in the past and it needs to be again,’ he said.

‘It needs someone who will engage the community and get them back in there and hold team events, like pool and so on.

‘We would like someone to focus the pub on real ale because it became famous for that, and I would like to see a bit of food being offered.’

The Alma Arms, in Eastney, and The Invincible, in Wickham Street, Portsea, which are on a temporary lease for the time being, were also advertised.

Money is also due to be spent giving The Royal Albert a makeover.

Scott Gander, 39, of Guildford, went along because he’s just come back from Australia and wants to get into the pub trade.

Mr Gander, who lives with his wife Sian, 32, and son Harvey, two, took a liking to The Ship Inn, in Bognor Regis.

He’s a chef and sees the potential in expanding its food offering.

‘I’m prepared for the hard work,’ he said.

‘I have always taken an interest in community-led pubs.

‘I like a pub being part of the community.’