Sadness as students pull out of pub lease

The Fox & Duck public house at Broomhill
The Fox & Duck public house at Broomhill
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IT IS the end of an era at an historic Sheffield pub.

Sheffield University Students’ Union is calling time after a quarter of a century on its lease of The Fox and Duck pub, in Broomhill.

The decision has been made due to fewer students living in the suburb, plus more people drinking at home due to cheaper supermarket booze.

Now the pub’s owner, Enterprise Inns, is preparing to advertise for a new tenant.

Residents and businesses in Broomhill called for the venue to remain a traditional pub.

Howard Fry, of Broomhill Forum, said: “It’s sad the union is giving up the lease - it has always been a good, well-run pub.

“I would hope it could stay open and someone else will take it on as a going concern.”

Vera Percy, aged 91, a retired steelworks secretary who lives in Broomhill, said: “It would be nice if a new landlord could be found who would keep it open as a normal pub for a drink and a chat.”

Lucy Cam, of La Vie En Rose beauty salon, Glossop Road, said: “I’m surprised they say there are fewer students around Broomhill - there are still plenty and they are our main demographic.

“I thought The Fox and Duck was thriving. I think everyone around here wants it to be kept open as a community pub.”

The Fox and Duck was built in the early 19th century and taken over by the students’ union in 1987.

Harry Horton, union finance officer, said: “At that time, The Fox and Duck both fulfilled a service to students, who at the time had facilities in halls that were not as good as those presently offered by Sheffield University student residences and at the same time served a strong local clientele.

“Over the years the rental for pubs has increased significantly while purchases from supermarkets and home drinking, and some movement of students living in the city centre, have resulted in declining trade levels.

“This has led to a significant drop in demand for traditional pubs and a premises which once contributed valuable resources back into student life has become a more marginal operation.”

“The lease for The Fox and Duck expires in June and it was decided, with sadness, the business is no longer an important strand of our services.”

Enterprise Inns said it would be looking for a new licensee for the pub.