How to solve a problem like Vic

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A ONCE popular pub in Wolverton could become a community cafe and play scheme.

Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council is working in partnership with charities MK Play Association and Age UK MK on a scheme to buy the Queen Victoria on Church Street.

The group has offered three options to residents: keep the building as a pub rather than see it converted to flats, allow the council to buy the building, or let it out to charities and other organisations keen to see it become a community facility for everyone to use and enjoy.

However, their plans depend on whether the existing owner wants to sell to the council, and whether they can afford it.

There are already plans afoot in Wolverton throwing the future of the much maligned Agora Centre into question after Milton Keynes Council decided last week to carry out a Compulsary Purchase Order on the building, but only ‘if necessary.’

The Queen Vic has been empty since Christmas 2011 when former landlord Tara Peacock closed the doors for the final time.

She said she felt it had to remain a pub in order for it to be a success, despite several landlords in the past failing to make it work.

“I just don’t understand why the council would think it could be used as anything other than a pub,” she said.

“I put an awful lot of money into the building to get it back into a position where we could open it to the public again.

“I wasn’t given any support when I was the landlord there even though we worked hard to make it work.

“I don’t know where the council thinks it is going to get the money for this from, because it’s not going to be cheap.”

Marie Osbourne, who is part of the Future Wolverton steering group which is helping shape the Neighbourhood Plan in Wolverton, is keen to see the building given a new lease of life.

She said: “It’s a positive step for the council to be working with local charities.

“The Queen Vic is an important building in Wolverton town centre and the council are doing their best to rescue it.

“I think there will be a lot of people from Wolverton who will be interested in opening up businesses there, or using it as retail space.

“There are a lot of possibilities for the building, not just as a pub. Many people have tried over the years to make it work as a pub and it just isn’t working out.”

Wolverton and Greenleys Council is keen to hear how residents would like to see the pub used. It will make a decision on Thursday, August 30. For more information, visit the town council’s website.