Over the last few years, the secret has got out that Sheffield is fantastic place to enjoy a drink. We have retained the purple flag status for our city centre – similar to the blue flag award for beaches – meaning that Sheffield’s city centre is a safe night out full of entertainment and exciting things to do, but also as the World’s Capital of Real Ale (as according to the New York times!) our pubs are going from strength to strength.
The council’s strategy of promoting the importance of real ale and championing quality pubs has really helped with branding Sheffield as a desirable location for beer enthusiasts. The current Sheffield Beer Week (until 19 March) is also part of this successful strategy.
But all of the promotion means nothing unless efforts are made not only preserve heritage pubs but make sure that they have a future as well, and this is exactly what the council are doing.
Last month the council rejected plans by Sainsbury’s PLC to turn the Plough Inn, in Croospool, into a convenience store and the University Arms is the latest of many pubs to be designated an ‘asset of community value’ (ACV), which helps prevent it from being closed down, sold off or redeveloped.
The pub, on Brook Hill, is a real ale pub located at the centre of the University of Sheffield’s campus and is owned and run by the University itself. Sheffield City Council approved the recent ACV application, and before this had been advising campaigners after their initial application was turned down.
Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m very pleased to announce that The University Arms has gained this community protection, and when better to do this than during Sheffield Beer Week, which is doing so much to put our city on the map.
“Sheffield is a great beer city and events like this highlight how passionate we are about our local pubs and celebrating Sheffield’s beer and real ale community.
“Designating The University Arms as an asset of community value will help protect its future use. We’re here to give advice about how more venues can gain this status and have approved a growing number of applications over the past year.”
Councillor Peter Rippon added: “The University Arms is a great pub and I enjoy coming here with friends. I hope we see more Community Value requests coming forward in the future.”
Sheffield Beer Week runs from 13 to 19 March. The event is now in its third year and will see more than 70 beer-themed events take place in venues across the city. Visit www.sheffieldbeerweek.co.uk for more information.