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Ramsbottom pub landlady fights brewery over shock eviction notice

The owners of a pub in Ramsbottom are fighting Stonegate brewery after being told their lease would not be renewed.

Samantha Gibbs, who bought The Major in Ramsbottom turned the pub around in July 2019 when she arrived with family to find a rat infestation and rotten carpets.

Bury North MP James Daly has raised concerns about Stonegate’s approach.

And next Wednesday a public meeting will take place at the venue in conjunction with the Foundation of British Pubs (FOBP) to discuss what can be done to fight back against the brewery’s decision.

When Samantha and her family arrived, The Major had to have pipes and wallpaper replaced and new fridges and freezers and the upstairs area refurbished into a suitable living area.

Samantha was able to bring back former regulars and make the pub a popular hub for football fans and Woodbank Junior Football Club, receiving good reviews and being financially successful.

Despite this, she was told her lease would not be renewed and she says she was not given any evidence of poor performance.

Samantha said: “This is a proper pub and people love the atmosphere and quality of the food and drink, and I think there is a real appetite for people that want to get behind us and support us.

“I’ve got a real passion for hospitality, and I make sure I know my customers well and I know them by name.

“However, we have uprooted and tried to make the pub better, and through no fault of our own, we’ve been mistreated.

Samantha claimed the brewery have refused to help with the rotting carpets and improve the men’s toilets, which is specifically in their contract.

Previous tenants also did not have their lease renewed after Stonegate overcharged on rent, forcing them behind on payments.

Nick Martin, of the Woodbank JFC, added: “What the brewery are doing is a disgrace. There are very few good pubs left in Ramsbottom after they have all been turned into bars.

“It would be such a shame to see Samantha go after she has made such a difference to the community.”

A spokesman for the Stonegate Group said, “The Major has been operated on a one year tenancy agreement by tenants Samantha and Christian Gibbs following prior negotiations that included the option of a longer term agreement which was refused at the time.

“Within the agreement a notice period of three-months is required which we have now exercised in order to put in place a longer term tenant.”

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