Shut Gosport pub should become a ‘youth bar’ for teenagers

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A CLOSED-down pub should be turned into a non-alcoholic venue for teenagers, says a Gosport councillor.

Leesland ward councillor Peter Chegwyn wants the boarded up Madeline’s pub, in Forton Road, to become a ‘youth pub’.

As reported in The News, Madeline’s was closed last month and sold to an unknown buyer.

Cllr Chegwyn wants to see the site reopened and turned into a youth pub while the new buyers decide what to do with the building.

Youngsters would be able to buy non-alcoholic drinks and listen to music

Cllr Chegwyn said: ‘I hope we can show a bit of imagination and make it happen.

‘If it was properly managed and policed it would give young people somewhere to get off the streets and have something to do in a safe and secure environment.

‘Potentially it could save the council and the police a lot of money.

‘There is a clear need for community facilities in the area and the idea of an underage pub would have huge benefits for the town.’

Lib Dem Cllr Chegwyn said other agencies like the police and council could use the pub as a base to deliver some of their services for young people.

He added: ‘Obviously it would have to be very well managed.

‘All I need to do now is find out who owns it and we can take it from there. It would be better than just letting it sit there boarded up.

‘If it went well then when the buyers decide what to do with the site we could ask them to keep a community aspect there.’

The pub’s former owners, Punch Taverns, put the site on the market but refuse to say who bought it.

It was last open on October 3.

Ann-Marie Titcombe, who runs the nearby Market House Tavern in Forton Road, said: ‘It’s a good idea in principle but it depends on a lot of things.

‘My kids went to a similar scheme when they were younger and it didn’t last long.

‘You would need an awful lot of money to keep it going.

‘I don’t think you could really make a commercial venture out of it and it would have to be very well policed to prevent any trouble.

‘It’s a nice idea but I don’t know how it would work.’