Kind donation saves historic Leeds pub from closure

The Cardigan Arms, in Kirkstall Road, Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson.
The Cardigan Arms, in Kirkstall Road, Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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One of the oldest pubs in Leeds looks to have been saved from closure.

The future of The Cardigan Arms, in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, looked to be bleak when Leeds City Council’s licensing department issued it a closure notice on November 21 over inadequate CCTV equipment.

Landlord Mickey Thompson pictured upstairs in The Cardigan Arms. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Landlord Mickey Thompson pictured upstairs in The Cardigan Arms. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Facing a bill of £1,200, landlord Mickey Thompson was fearing for his home and job until two Yorkshire businesses came to his rescue after reading about the historic venue’s plight in the YEP.

Bradford-based Omega Security Systems and Northern CCTV Services fitted six new cameras and upgraded old equipment for free, bringing it up to standard in time for yesterday’s closure notice deadline.

Mr Thompson, who had earlier been fundraising for a new pub PA speaker system, said: “It’s fantastic – it restores your faith. I hope the future’s bright.”

He said he hopes to revive the pub’s fortunes as a community hub as well as a live music venue by fitting a bar in a room upstairs and hosting up to 50 live events next year.

Omega Security’s managing director Richard Ward took up the opportunity to help save the venue, which dates back to the 18th Century, as he remembered working on the former Tetley pub three decades ago.

He said: “I rewired it as an apprentice 30 years ago. We’ve seen a few changes around Leeds and I thought I’d give something back.”

A council spokesman said it would look to arrange a further site visit to ensure the work met the required standards.

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