Yorkshire pubs launch internet campaign to halt closures

Otley town centre.
Otley town centre.
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Pubs in a West Yorkshire town have launched an internet campaign to halt further closures.

The Otley Pub Club was started by former publican Peter Jackson, with support from Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, in a bid to save the remaining drinking establishments in Otley.

Links to Twitter and Facebook mean people can be kept up to date with what is happening and any events.

The market town has 17 pubs, with around £2m being spent on refurbishing four pubs over the last six months.

Mr Jackson is the former landlord of many Leeds pubs, including the city centre’s Adelphi, the Rose and Crown in Armley and the General Elliot on Vicar Lane.

He said: “There are a lot of pubs in Otley per head of population and the town is well known for this.

“But in recent times, two major pubs have closed, one has become a music and arts centre and the other may become offices.

“Now we want to stop any further closures.

“Sadly, due to the smoking ban, the recession and the rise in the price of beer it is inevitable that pubs will close, but here in Otley they are an important part of the economy and community.”

He said the new website would allow people to support its pubs and have a website with links to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, keeping people up to date.

The new website – www.otleypubclub.co.uk – has been built by web development company Centurius, which is based in the town.

Mr Jackson, who is chairman of the new club, said: “The website is self-funded and we have, until now, had to communicate via the local media and leaflets around the town.

“It’s free to become a member of the Otley Pub Club, and we’ve been relying on donations and fundraising events.

“It is important people are involved in their community.

Mr Jackson added: “We think the Otley Pub Club is pretty unique; we are non-political and not supported by the drinks industry so we can be as vocal and outspoken as we want to be.

“The new website will be supported by Facebook and Twitter micro-sites and we are all really excited about the future of the club and what it can hopefully achieve.”

He also urged people to sign up to the online venture.