Joule's Reveals Ambitious Plans For Wem

Joule's Brewery has today announced the purchase of THE WHITE LION in Wem from Punch Taverns. The first in a number of intended purchases from Punch, to be announced over the coming weeks.

The White Lion sits on the High Street in Wem opposite The Castle already owned by Joule's. Steve Nuttall, Development Director, "We think of the north Shropshire towns of Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Wem as being home towns for us, and we already have a Joule's Tap house in Wem. We are very keen to invest in Wem and think whilst it is a small town it has a great future; it is very attractive, has a great brewing heritage and is growing in popularity. Our own pub is doing well with local landlords Richard and Dee and with the pub directly opposite we wanted to ensure it survives and complments The Castle."

The White Lion dates back to the mid 19th centure, it is an important pub on the high street and has traditionally been one of the busiest pubs in town. Joule's has invested in the freehold in order to give the pub a new lease of life and it will be one of their sponsored pubs. Tony Walsh, Area Manager explains, "Our sponsored pubs are different to the Taps, which are brewery flagship pubs. With our sponsored pubs we look to back local entrepreneurs to run the pub very much in their own format, wheres the tap houses are our format. Our role for the sponsored pubs is to be in the background as support. In this case we have invested in the free hold as the pub was struggling and has just been closed by the fire officer, as it clearly needs investment if it is to remain as a pub in the furture." Following a Fire Risk Assessment, the Fire Authority have a requirement for urgent remedial action on 5 trading practices.

Richard Lear of The Castle; "Wem has always been a big supporter of Shropshire breweries, The Castle even backs on to an old brewery. Joule's is the most local to us now and my customers really enjor the beer and the local story, so it's great news that another pub is in local brewery hands, rather than a big national company. It is a really good new story for local business and local people. I also think it's good for Wem. I am born and bred here and to see investment in the town, especially in the high street keeps the town alive. With new development around the town, Wem is becoming and important centre once again."

Trudie Meredith, Marketing Manager, "We were keen to acquire the White Lion, too many pubs are closing and the White Lion is a landmark pub on the high street. We will sponsor an entrepreneur with a joint investment of circa £100K to get it back to its best; a great locals local, which we think will compliment The Castle which is one of our very best pubs with great food and brilliantly run by Richard and Dee. The pair will be a great asset to the high street."

Following a recent Fire Risk Assessment, the Fire Authority have a requirement for urgent remedial action on 5 trading practices and the pub will re-open late Sutumn of this year.

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