Pub firm remains tight-lipped as award-winning Southsea pub prepares for closure

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A PUB operator has remained tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding the future of The Leopold Tavern as its landlord prepares to close tomorrow.

The award-winning venue in Albert Road, Southsea, is holding a farewell bash before shutting up shop. It comes after Leopold tenant Stuart Ainsworth said he failed to resolve a dispute over rent, with owners Ei Group plc wanting to put up his annual bill to £50,000. The company has not given any details over the rent hike, nor revealed whether it is connected to a planned overhaul in the management of its pubs.

A spokesman said: ‘We’re meeting our publican at The Leopold Tavern early next week to discuss his current situation in greater detail.

‘We hope to agree a mutually acceptable and positive solution for the future as soon as possible.’