Salisbury's Mill pub is safe - and will re-open soon

The Mill New Cordon June 2018

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 8:01am 14th August 2018. (Updated at 9:29am 14th August 2018)

The pub's been closed since March as part of the spy poisoning incident, but the decontamination is now complete.

The Mill was visited by Sergei and Yulia Skripal on the day they were found ill, having been exposed to the nerve agent novichok.

It was shut as a precaution, with the Government's Defra has been testing the site for any traces of the substance.

They've now confirmed the building is safe and it's been handed back to the owners, Greene King.

PM Visits The Mill, Salisbury
The Prime Minister visited the Mill scene at the start of the nerve agent incident

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The cordons themselves won't come down just yet, as the site will need to be kept closed while any refurbishment work's carried out, but the security guards patrolling there will no longer need to be on site.

The next phase will be getting the pub ready for opening, as we're told a lot of the furnishings within the building have been taken out to ensure public safety.

It's hoped the Mill will re-open later this year.

Police Cordon by The Mill pub in the snow at the Maltings on Sunday 18th March
The cordon's been in place at the pub since early March as a precaution and for decontamination

Andrea Greenwood, operations manager for the Mill pub, said:

"It's good to get the pub back and we look forward to it being business as usual again at the heart of the Salisbury community.

"This has been a difficult few months for all of us in the area but we are pleased by this news and will now assess the extent of refurbishment work to be undertaken to get the pub back to its best.

"This is about more than just one pub and our thoughts are very much with everyone affected by events since March. It’s too soon to give a reopening date but we are looking to the future and hope to be able to welcome the community back through our doors before Christmas."

'SAFE TO RETURN TO PUBLIC USE':

Defra tell us they've been carrying out extensive cleaning at the Mill, testing for traces of novichok along the way.

A spokesperson for the department said:

"The thorough work to decontaminate The Mill pub in Salisbury has been successfully completed and we have handed the site back to Wiltshire Council, who have in turn passed it back to the owners to begin refurbishment.

"As with other sites in the South Wiltshire area affected by the incidents in March and June, government scientists have carefully examined the clean-up work and are satisfied that the pub is safe to return to public use.

"This is the sixth site to be handed back as part of the ongoing decontamination operation in the area, and it is great news that The Mill will be enjoyed by both Salisbury residents and visitors once again."

The Mill in the Maltings  (Salisbury Incident March 2018)
It's hoped the pub will be open in time for the Christmas party season

The sites that remain under Defra's control for decontamination, or are subject to police cordons, in connection with the nerve agent incidents are:

  • Zizzi restaurant, Castle Street
  • Sergei Skripal's home in Christie Miller Road
  • The home of Charlie Rowley in Muggleton Road, Amesbury - he was also poisoned by novichok at the end of June, along with his partner Dawn Sturgess, who sadly died
  • Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury
  • Amesbury Baptist Centre
  • Boots, Stonehenge Walk, Amesbury

POSITIVE STEP FOR SALISBURY:

The pub has been handed back to Wiltshire Council by Defra and they in turn will give control to Greene King, to get it ready for re-opening.

Alistair Cunningham, chair of the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group, said:

"We're delighted that The Mill has been handed back following the clean-up by specialist teams, and that it is now safe to be returned to its owners and refurbished ready for normal use.

"We look forward to the reopening of this popular city centre pub and seeing local people and visitors to the city enjoying what it has to offer; particularly its wonderful riverside setting.

"This is a positive step forward and will help the city in its recovery. Salisbury is getting back to normal even though it continues to be in an unprecedented situation. Local residents and visitors have not been deterred and they have shown remarkable resilience over the past few months."

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