Hull’s Polar Bear pub back in the game as licence renewed

One of Hull’s best-known pubs is one step closer to reopening.

The Polar Bear in Spring Bank has been closed for a year after its previous owners went into administration.

At the time, the VMS Group blamed the financial strain caused by the Covid pandemic.

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Now a community interest company (CIC) set up with the aim of taking over the venue has been granted a new premises licence for the building.

The licensing approval by Hull City Council covers the sale of alcohol at the premises and regulated entertainment such as live music and proposed opening hours.

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Inside Polar Bear
Inside Polar Bear

Under the go-ahead, the pub will be allowed to open seven days a week, from 10am until 2.30am the following morning.

Speaking about the aim of the CIC last year, director Mark Hall said: “We feel we want to have a transparent organisation that is part of the community.

“We want to open this up to cultural and creative organisations to bring the building back into use seven days a week and then hopefully on the back of that, we can have a much more diverse programme for the actual live part of it.

“We can have more comedy, theatre, literature, all that sort of thing, so it’s not just a live music venue anymore but a big creative organism.”

The not-for-profit CIC successfully initially raised just over £19,000 last year through an online Crowdfunder campaign to buy the pub’s fixtures and fittings, including its mixing desk and PA system.

It is currently aiming to raise another £40,000 to help it get ready to reopen. As yet, no date for that has been announced.

As part of the latest Crowdfunder, people being invited to sponsor one of the Victorian pub’s toilet cubicles, be a DJ for a night for a one-off £500 donation or even spend the night with the pub’s famous polar bear statue in exchange for a £1,000 contribution to the cause.