Palmers Brewery have announced that they are to put the Old Swan at Toller Porcorum up for public auction.
The building is to be offered for sale on a 999-year lease with a covenant that it should remain as a pub. The guide price will be £175,000 and Palmers’ property agents Chesterton Humberts will conduct the auction in December.
John Palmer, managing director of Palmers Brewery, said: ‘It is now a year since we wrote to the Save Our Swan group offering to let them the pub rent-free for five years.
‘We have not received any response to our proposal and having waited a year, it is time to move things on.
‘Palmers have therefore decided to put the pub on the open market at a realistic guide price.
‘We are offering the Old Swan for sale to give the widest opportunity for it to reopen as a pub.’
The guide price reflects the findings of three recent valuations by independent specialists in the licensed property market, all with local knowledge.
The Old Swan closed in 1998 because the costs of essential modernisation greatly outweighed the likely value of the business. Last year, Palmers re-assessed the costs and found that modernisation was still commercially unviable. This year, Savills carried out an independent report for West Dorset District Council, which fully validated Palmers’ views on the pub’s commercial unviability. The report concluded that the high cost of reconfiguration was due to the demands of modern regulations and the changing expectations of customers.