OPEN LETTER TO BLUEMANTLE
We are writing to you in light of recent events surrounding one of your properties, The Dog And Partridge in Bolton.
As you are well aware, this thriving cultural landmark has been closed for several weeks now, due to the bizarre actions of one man, who chose to drive a Land Rover at full speed through the wall of the pub. It is only by sheer coincidence that the car did not end the lives of the three people who had just stepped outside moments before. One of these, landlord Neil Piper, is now homeless, jobless and facing bankruptcy – and looks set to remain so for the foreseeable future.
The tightly knit, sizeable community of the Dog and Partridge, as well as our brothers and sisters at Blind Tiger, the Alma, and all the bands all over the world who have travelled time and again to play at this well-respected venue, wish to thank you, Bluemantle. Your response to Neil’s plight was immediate, and very much in keeping with the actions of a company who care about the people living on the land you own. You have shown every sign that you are as good as your word when you say that returning the pub to its’ previous state is your priority.
But what if we went a bit further?
You bought the Dog and Partridge (outbidding Neil and his business partner, Terry, in the process) in order to build ‘Church Wharf’, a regenerative development designed to bring new life to our town.
“a £210m dynamic, high quality mixed-use scheme, combining stylish architecture and stunning open spaces.”
Due to various unavoidable economic factors, this development stalled. No-one knows what the future holds for this 13 acre swathe of town centre. That is up to you.
But you know what would look nice in that spot? An amazing music venue. A place where people had met their future spouses. A place where people had experienced events which had changed them forever. A place that has survived the test of time as a refuge, a sanctuary, a home for people, music, arts, creativity. All the things that people need to stay sane. All the things that you’ll remember when you’re old and multiplex cinemas and retail units have been torn down, and built again, and torn down again.
Can you build for the future, Bluemantle? Really build for the future?
Your £100,000 rebuild of the damaged wall will make the structure of the pub the strongest it has ever been. That money will be wasted if we don’t safeguard the successful business that keeps that structure full of people. On top of the costs of maintaining a business that currently brings in nothing, due to it’s closure, there are likely to be debates between the various insurance companies involved that will drag this situation on indefinitely. All the while, the building will fall into disrepair and ruin.
£100,000. If you double that figure, the Dog And Partridge could become your flagship. A truly unique space in Bolton that is needed now more than ever by its loyal customer base and the more more casual consumers. This wouldn't be buying the goodwill of the people of Bolton. It would be showing that you understand the needs of the community for which you wish to develop things.
Also, needless to say, it might make you a bit of cash in the long run.
The Dog Refugees.