Two heritage groups are looking to rejuvenate Northampton’s Grade II listed Old Black Lion pub.
The Friends of Northampton Castle and The Friends of St Peter’s are taking part in a Heritage Dragons event, where they will be pitching their case to a Dragon’s Den-style panel in a bid to secure free professional advice.
The ‘dragons’ include Clive Dutton, executive director for regeneration at Newham Council, responsible for delivering the London 2012 Olympic legacy in the borough.
The winners will receive expert knowledge on creating a sustainable business model and guidance on how to secure private investment for the project.
The pub, in Marefair, Northampton, is currently closed because of structural problems.
A spokesman for The Friends of Northampton Castle and The Friends of St Peter’s said: “We passionately believe in our plans to revive the Old Black Lion pub and return it to the thriving community asset it once was. By attending Heritage Dragons we hope to tap in to the resources and advice we need to help move our project forward.”
The Old Black Lion pub is a Grade II listed building in the Saxon and medieval area of Northampton, currently owned by the Wellington Pub Company.
It is located in the same area as the former Northampton Castle, which was demolished in 1662, and St Peter’s Church, which is Grade I listed and dates from 1130.
The Churches Conservation Trust, in partnership with the Friends of Northampton Castle and The Friends of St Peter’s, envisage refurbishing the Old Black Lion into a working business, which will at the same time act as a heritage hub for the area and attract visitors.
The challenges faced relate to obtaining capital investment, creating a sustainable business to support the other elements of the project and managing the needs of multiple stakeholders.