Arabian Horse Aberford: Leeds village community to get 'first refusal' to buy pub on asset list

A Leeds village community has been granted 'first refusal' by council chiefs to buy a pub on the asset list.

Leeds City Council has agreed to keep the Arabian Horse public house in Aberford on the List of Assets of Community Value.

Retention on the list means that should the property ever come up for sale, community interest groups effectively get right of first refusal to buy.

Locally, concerns have been raised that if the building were to be sold or converted into other uses, an important social and economic resource would be lost.

The news has been welcomed by local ward councillors.

Coun Sam Firth (Conservative, Harewood) said: “What an achievement it would be for the village if, when the time comes, it could run it’s own pub or community centre! Being on the list of community assets presents a golden opportunity for the community to step in and create something of real value to the village. ”

Coun Matthew Robinson (Conservative, Harewood) said: “I am fully supportive of this proposal. Pubs are at the very heart of rural communities and quite literally have been for centuries - their reach goes way beyond the simple bricks and mortar of the building. On the understanding there are no plans currently, staying on this register means community groups get first refusal to purchase the property, should it ever come up for sale. And if

the community can make that happen, I think it more likely that something beneficial for the village can continue.”

Coun Ryan Stephenson (Conservative, Harewood) said:

“We know that the hospitality industry is particularly struggling at the moment, but this is great news that the Arabian Horse pub will stay as a community asset. Being on the list demonstrates the social value to the community and may afford greater protections in regard it’s future.”