SHROPSHIRE Council has been revealed as the new owner of the Grade II listed White Horse Hotel in Wem, with plans to renovate and bring it back into use.

The long-standing vacancy of the White Horse has been a major concern for the local community.

But earlier today it was revealed that the pub had a new owner after an unnamed buyer paid £92,000 for the property at an auction on Thursday (July 13). 

Now the council has been revealed as the buyer.

Dean Carroll, cabinet member for growth, regeneration, and housing at Shropshire Council, said the building has been an eyesore for more than a decade.


He said: “We haven’t purchased it to make money, but to save a listed building that was at significant risk, and to help boost the town’s High Street renewal, which we know local people are keen to see.

“We will now work with local councillors and the Town Council to develop a business case for the building and to deliver this important project.”

Collaborating with local councillors and Wem Town Council, Shropshire Council aims to establish a renovation model for the building.

This could include converting the upper floors into homes and potentially incorporating a retail or food and beverage establishment on the ground floor.

Wem councillors Peter Broomhall and Edward Towers welcomed the purchase.

They said: “We welcome this purchase of Wem’s historic coaching inn, The White Horse Hotel, which, after 20 or more years since it was closed, places the building in public hands and with it the responsibility for reviving this asset and, in turn, improving our town.

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“We thank Shropshire Council’s cabinet and Dean Carroll for listening to all our strong lobbying on behalf of the residents of this area and making this important initial investment in the town’s future.

“It also means they are preparing to find the additional costs to Shropshire Council for the redevelopment that must now take place.”

The councillors see this purchase as a ‘key piece of the jigsaw’  in regenerating the town.

They added: “We look forward to working with all in the town and at Shirehall to bring about the business case that will bring to reality the hopes and dreams we have for regenerating this building, so that once more it will be a strategic long-term community asset.”