Wales

Llanelli's Royal Oak pub could be saved by customer

A pub regular in Llanelli is offering £250,000 to save his local watering hole after its owners agreed to sell it to a neighbouring private school.

Allan Rodgers has made the pledge in a bid to stop the Royal Oak in Bryn being closed down.

The 62-year-old wants to keep open the Admiral Taverns-owned pub and has made an offer to St Michael's School to stop the sale going through.

Residents have launched a campaign to make St Michael's re-think.

"We've agreed to sell the pub," said an Admiral Taverns spokesperson. "As such we have a contract in place with St Michael's School.

"We are very happy to engage with the licensee on other opportunities within our estate and we are very happy to engage in any dialogue with St Michael's School."

It is thought the pub could be used as a boarding house to accommodate foreign students who visit the school, but Mr Rodgers is giving the school another option.

"I'm willing to pay the school £230,000 for the pub, what we understand they have paid Admiral Taverns for the site, and I'm prepared to give another £20,000 as a donation to school funds," he said.

"We're also offering them the chance to take on some of the land around the pub as part of the package.

"It is a great deal for the school and the community. It's a chance for St Michael's School to do the right thing and give something back to the people of the Bryn."

'Growing'

Mr Rodgers has asked school head teacher Daniel Sheehan to meet him to discuss the offer and find a way forward.

Residents have vowed to fight to keep the pub open and stop any development of the site with hundreds signing a petition and 600 joining a Facebook group.

Llanelli MP Nia Griffiths has also offered her support labelling the situation as "horrific".

Campaigners say the school already has acres of land that it could use and has bought other property in the community.

Pub landlord Craig Davies, who will have to find somewhere else to live with 13-year-old son Liam in two weeks time, claimed the school had other options.

"The school owned huge playing fields nearby that it could have built boarding accommodation or anything it wanted to on," he said.

"But it sold that land to Barratt who are now building around 170 houses on there.

"That shows how important this pub is - the community is growing and it needs something to help bring it together and the pub helps do that.

"Allan's offer to buy the pub is great deal for the school and would be a great gesture that they are not all about the money and that they do have a conscience."

The community is planning a family fun day at the Royal Oak on Saturday to raise awareness of their campaign.

No-one at the school has been available for comment.

More on this story