THE Fox and Elm pub in Tuffley will remain open brewery chain Marstons have pledged.
Andy Rockcliffe took over the Stroud Road pub in October last year but has now handed it onto a relief manager.
He said: “We are still in charge of the place but a relief manager is running it now. We have gone back to our other pub in Bristol because we have been told by Marston’s that some changes are going to be made soon.”
Last year it was reported that Marstons had sold 202 pubs to NewRiver Retail for £90m but the independent chain have confirmed The Fox and Elm will stay open.
A Marston’s spokesman said: “The Fox & Elm is trading as normal. In fact we are planning to make some considerable refurbishments to the pub, which will help to bring a fresh new look to this community focused pub. We are in the process of recruiting a new manager, as our previous tenant has left to take on another Marston’s site.”
David Knight, who lives in Stroud Road, said: “There is speculation in the area that developers have bought the pub. We can see the pub closing one way or another, because Marstson’s have sold a lot of pubs recently. Nobody has invested in this pub over the past 10 years and it is looking a little run down.
“The Fox and Elm pub is a long standing and substantially built pub which now is effectively on death row, like many before it.”
Despite several attempts from residents in Abbeydale, the former Ridge and Furrow pub closed before Christmas last year.
Regular users of the pub tried to turn the building into a community asset but were rejected.
David added: “The Labour party say they intend to push the government to introduce a statutory code to protect landlords from exploitation at the hands of large pub companies. Gloucester, as we know is in no way untouched by this demise.
“Lifestyle changes have also contributed slightly because a lot of people now buy alcohol from supermarkets because it is cheaper. The no smoking ban has also had an effect on trade. Many of the breweries and pub chains have left their respective tenants and landlords in a situation where they are unable to profitably operate.”