Abbey pub tenants to get more money and have rent and bills paid

The future tenants of a historic Derby pub will be offered more money and have their rent and bills paid. The brewery which owns the Abbey has improved its offer to prospective operators of the pub which has been closed since November 2019.

Following a meeting with Derby City Councillor for Darley, Alan Grimadell, Samuel Smiths brewery will now pay the Abbey pub’s next tenants £42,640 between them – up from £40,000 originally being offered – and pay all utility bills and rent. The Grade II*-listed pub, which is one of the last remaining parts of the biggest monastic establishment in medieval Derbyshire, has been closed for two years.

Attempts to find an owner have thus far been fruitless, despite the brewery reporting that several applications had been made to run the pub. Following the meeting on Thursday, March 10, Cllr Grimadell, who is also Deputy Mayor of the City of Derby, said: “I am pleased the brewery have increased the pay to £42,640.

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They will also provide a week’s training in Tadcaster where the couple would stay in a hotel free of charge. They assured me The Abbey still has the heat on to keep the property warm and contractors visit the pub on a regular basis. The kitchen has also been fully refurbished following a fire several years ago.”

Cllr Grimadell announced that a meeting had been scheduled in February, enlisting the support of Derby North MP, Amanda Solloway among others, alongside the work of fellow Darley councillor, Martin Repton. At the meeting, Cllr Grimadell also reiterated his desire to hold an Open Day at the pub for prospective tenants, an idea which the brewery said it would take on board. Samuel Smiths, based in Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, is well-known for only selling its own beer at low prices in its pubs, which do not permit music phones, laptops or swearing. It owns over 200 establishments nationwide.

Members of the local community have also called for action to return the pub to its former glory, with over 2,300 people signing an online petition created by local campaigner Carmel Swan and Cllr Repton. It became a ‘tied house’ with Samuel Smiths in 1979, meaning unlike a free house it must sell the beer of that brewery.

Do you have any memories of using the pub before 2019? Let us know in the comments section.

Pictured is Councillor Alan Grimadell with other supporters of the campaign to reopen The Abbey, in Darley.
Councillor Alan Grimadell with other supporters of the campaign to reopen The Abbey, in Darley.

The building was previously turned into tenements to secure its future following the dissolution of the monastery. Its status is protected by being Grade II*-listed, meaning it is considered of higher importance than Grade II buildings, which are buildings of special interest which warrant every effort to preserve them.

The star means that the building is considered to be particularly important, of more than special interest. Linda Stuart of Samuel Smiths brewery said: “It has been a very difficult time for the hospitality industry with Covid-19 which we believe has affected the levels of interest we’ve received in running The Abbey.

However, we take our responsibility to this building and the pub very seriously and are keen to see a management couple take it on as soon as possible. We offer full training and I am happy to speak to anyone interested in running the pub.”

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Anyone interested in running The Abbey can email or