THE future of Wem’s White Horse Pub is central to the town’s regeneration and residents must be consulted, according to senior figures.

The Grade II-listed pub, in High Street, was bought by Shropshire Council in July 2023, and now councillors past and present, plus Wem Civic Society, are calling for cooperation and communication over its future use.

Oliver Richardson, from Wem Civic Society, added that the society will be carrying out a survey to determine local views over its future.


He said: “The White Horse is a vital part of Wem’s heritage.

“If a town neglects its heritage, on what basis can it hope to build its future?”

The Civic Society said the hotel dates back to the late 18th century, with current mayor Councillor Geoff Soul adding his voice to the call for consultation.

He said: “While I am pleased that Shropshire Council has bought The White Horse and also secured funds to carry out a further survey and purposing exercise I have not seen any confirmation that the people of Wem, Wem Civic Society and Wem Town Council will be consulted over future use.

“I very much hope that this will happen as the building is an important part of Wem's heritage and I know that there is a strong local desire to see the building restored as a focal part of the community."

The survey will run from Monday, March 18 with questionnaires and collection boxes in the Castle Inn, Co-op Store, Wem Library, Wem Methodist Church, and Wem Town Hall.

It will finish at noon on Saturday April 6.

Shropshire Council said it will aim to work with residents once it has completed its own surveys.

A spokesman said: “A Shropshire Council officer working group meets regularly to manage the project to reverse the decline of this Grade II listed building and bring it back into use.

“The council has secured initial Heritage at Risk funding from Historic England to undertake full specialist condition surveys of the building.

“This will inform the cost of repairing the building, together with market assessment and options appraisal to identify the most sustainable use for the building. 

“The latter work will involve consultation, including with Shropshire Councillors, the Town Council, amenity groups and residents.

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“We are currently in the processes of agreeing the funding offer and will then be going out to tender for this work.

“We ask for the community’s patience while we undertake these important pieces of work, as this will enable us to plan a viable future for the building and secure the potential for accessing further external funding to assist with this. 

“We have also put an information panel up outside the building.”