One of Lanark’s most historic buildings, The Clyesdale Inn, has been put up for sale by its current owners, pub chain JD Wetherspoon.
The 18th century building, in its original guise as a hotel, played host to famous guests ranging from Charles Dickens to General Montgomery over the years, but it became a pub/restaurant business around a decade ago when Wetherspoons purchased it after a lengthy period of closure and spent large sums of money refurbishing it.
Recently a planning application was made to South Lanarkshire Council by Wetherspoons to convert the upper floor back into hotel bedrooms, a move locally welcomed as it would give Lanark back some hotel rooms for let to tourists after several years of the town having no such accommodation to offer visitors.
The Clydesdale is one of 34 pubs throughout the United Kingdom Wetherspoons are selling as ‘going concerns’, either individually or as a portfolio; the company put 20 of its premises on the market earlier this year.
The agents handling the sale, CBRE, said this week that they “anticipate strong interest from existing operators and new entrants keen to create a platform which can be used to build a successful managed estate.”
However, that has not quelled fears amongst Wetherspoon customers in Lanark, Independent councillor Ed Archer among them who said this week that several of his constituents had approached him, expressing worries about the Clydesdale’s future.
He said he understood that an online petition was being started by local patrons to try to persuade Wetherspoons to retain ownership.
He commented: “We can’t understand why the company is doing this. The Clydesdale seems to be very popular and is certainly a lot busier than the rest of the town’s pubs at the moment. I’m not sure there’s any commercial future for a small-scale hotel in Lanark anymore.”