Council takes plunge on pub purchase

Sandwell Council has paid £150,000 for a former West Bromwich pub in a deal brokered by property agents Bond Wolfe.

The Rising Sun, 7 Barton Street, has been acquired as part of major regeneration of the area.

It is now set to be demolished.

It was once popular with West Bromwich Albion supporters, claiming to be “the best pub with Albion attitude”. Indeed the bar was decorated from floor to ceiling with Albion memorabilia.

There was talk of a major retail development on the site and it had previously received planning permission for housing.

But now it will be bulldozed to make way for a council leisure scheme, including an £11 million swimming pool, on land at the corner of Moor Street and Barton Street.

James Mattin, managing partner of Bond Wolfe, said: “This is another important step forward in the continued regeneration of West Bromwich.

“This was once a popular public house, but, with the licensed trade struggling and the site ripe for redevelopment, it seems the best outcome all round.”

The council has stated that it aims to submit a planning application by summer 2012, with building work starting early in 2013. It intends to link with a development partner to design, build, operate and maintain the new centre.

It is hoped the complex, which will comprise a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool and learner pool, a four-court sports hall and a 100-station gym, plus refreshment area, will open in summer 2014.

The Rising Sun was owned by a private investor and retailer who, said Mr Mattin, had decided the economic climate was not right to go forward with a redevelopment of his own.