The Cow criticised for failure to inform staff of its sale

Jocelyn Major 4 April 2014

The Cow pub in central Cambridge has encountered criticism as it is revealed that it failed to inform staff that the pub had been put up for sale. The Cow was the host of CUSU’s LGBT+ club night until 2012 and has in recent years been the venue of choice for the King’s Mingle after-party.

Last week the property, owned by Brewers Black Pubs Ltd, was officially put up for sale on the website of estate agents Fluerets. The property was shown as available to lease for £100,000, but has recently been marked as sold (subject to contract) on the website.

The company has faced criticism for their failure to be upfront with staff about the sale of the pub, particularly as the website’s blurb noted: "Staff are unaware and should not be approached." This was later removed from the website.

 Photo credit: Mazda Hewitt

The website further added that viewing is by appointment only, with an initial discreet viewing required on a customer basis.

The British Beer & Pub Association criticised the brewery for their openness with staff during the sale, with a spokesman from the company stating: "Once the information had been put on a website, clearly it was best for the company to be open."

James Davies, divisional director at London-based estate agents Fleurets, said: "Black Pubs Limited has taken the decision to sell The Cow.

"It is very early in the process but we fully expect the sale to be as a going concern and all staff will therefore have the opportunity to transfer to the new owner."

Since staff were informed about the sale of the pub, moves were made to assure workers that their jobs should not be at risk when the ownership of the pub exchanges hands.

Pub manager Dean Holloway declined to comment about the delay in informing staff about the pub’s sale.