Community rally round Salisbury pub struggling with lockdown rent

Community rally round Salisbury pub struggling with lockdown rent

Published by Jack Deery at 5:47am 30th June 2020. (Updated at 10:14am 30th June 2020)

3 minute read

The Winchester Gate pub say the owners of the property are demanding they pay full rent for the three months it has been shut.

With the pub on Rampart Street not trading since March the move has left the tenants almost £10,000 in debt

So the pub's regulars and local community are now doing their bit to make sure it survives the coronavirus lockdown. 

Local resident Mike Clipson set up a Just Giving page for the venue, with an original target of £1,000 being set. 

Just a few days after the page went live, almost £6,000 has been raised by more than two hundred supporters. 

Robb and Abi Blake - Winchester Gate pub (Mike Draper) (1)
Robb and Abi Blake took over the pub in 2016

Mike has now pushed the goal up and wants to hit £10,000, with all the money going to help Robb and Abi Blake meet the running costs.

Mike said: 

"The Winchester Gate has been a community and musical hub for many years, being one of the last original music venues in Salisbury and a much loved watering hole. Robb and Abi also host a lot of charity events and during lockdown have raise money for local charities so it would be such a great loss if they were unable to continue running the pub and providing a such a service to the community.

I have personally been going there for nearly 9 years and have met many friends there as well as musicians."

The property is owned by The Wellington Pub Company, which has a portfolio of more than 750 pubs.

The company, owned by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, has been accused by several tenants across the country of being ruthless during lockdown.

Robb and Abi told Spire FM the last few months have been tough.

"Covid 19 has and will continue to have a detrimental impact on pubs and grassroots music venues. Here at the Winchester Gate we pride ourselves on providing a community hub and intimate live music space which hosts local, national and international artists week in, week out.

With the government guidelines we are going to struggle to make ends meet and keep our doors open. We were humbled to learn that one of our locals had created a crowdfunding page to help support the pub. We have been overwhelmed and truly taken back by how much support and love we have received from our wonderful community.

We have received donations from far and wide and couldn't be more thankful to know how much the winni Gate means to so many people. We look forward to welcoming people back this Saturday."

You can donate to the page by visiting

The pub reopens this Saturday (4th July).

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