In late November, pub and brew­ing company Marston’s, sold 202 pubs to New River Retail. It is feared that New River will convert the pubs into stores. New River Retail is a specialist real estate investment trust (REIT) focussed on the UK food and value retail sector. Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale, said “This pub sell-off is bad news for communities which may lose their pubs as a result. New River Retail have seriously underestimated the challenges and opposition that they will face in trying to sell profitable community pubs and convert them into convenience stores and other uses.”

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