‘Long live The Albert’: Primrose Hill pub closed for six years is set to reopen
Andrew Marr describes news as "pinprick of light" in darkest of times
04 August, 2020 — By Richard Osley
Community campaigner Phil Cowan outside The Albert last year
SUPPORTERS of a campaign to see a much-missed Primrose Hill pub reopen have been given a “huge” boost after brewery operators announced it will soon serve pints again.
The Albert in Princess Road has been closed since 2014 but has been listed as an asset of community value and people living nearby have been desperate to see it in use again.
The independent Leeds Brewery group has been waiting to move in for more than a year but have been held up with lease negotiations and then by the coronavirus health emergency.
Last night (Monday), the pub’s Twitter handle posted a picture of the keys to the building with the message: “HUGE NEWS!! We finally have the keys! The Albert WILL re-open. Thank you to all those in Primrose Hill that have supported us in getting to this stage. #longlivethealbert #primrosehill”
And in a thank you message to campaigners, Sam Moss from the brewery said: “As you may have guessed we’ve had a few issues with the landlord who backed out of the original deal at the very last moment. However, after some lengthy stop-start negotiations I can finally deliver some good news – we have signed a lease on The Albert.”
He added: “You should begin to see activity on site from today (Monday) and we are hoping to be in a position to re-open the pub at the beginning of October.”
Broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr, who lives nearby and has supported the campaign, responded: “In the darkest of times, over a pitch black horizon, come pinpricks of light. One day, back in the wonderful Albert with a pint and a scotch egg.”
Phil Cowan, a community campaigner who had been helping to support the mission to see the building and garden saved from redevelopment, said: “The Albert pub and the campaign to get it back up and running does indeed provide a great example of people working together to benefit the area. In this instance the Primrose hill Community Association and Conservation Committee along with our ward councillors were key to protecting the premises from being turned residential by using the ACV and Article 4 direction.”
He added: “The campaign to prevent the beautiful garden being built upon was on reflection even more important than I had thought as it now transpires, in light of the pandemic that the outside space will be even more crucial to the success of the business when it re-opens.”