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Press Release


Formerly closed Leeds pub wins top CAMRA award

The Cardigan Arms in Leeds has won CAMRA’s Pub Design Award for best ‘street corner local’

For more information contact press@camra.org.uk or call 01727 337863

The restoration of the Cardigan Arms in Leed has won CAMRA’s Joe Goodwin Award as part of its national Pub Design Awards.

Named after the late CAMRA Chairman, who was a great enthusiast for – and champion of – the ‘ordinary’ street-corner local, the award recognises the best street-corner pubs across the country.

A substantial late Victorian pub, the Cardigan Arms was designed by Leeds architect Thomas Winn and boasts an impressive multi-room interior. However, it has struggled in recent years due to lack of investment and a changing demographic in the area.

It was saved from closure by Steve Holt of Kirkstall Brewery who decided to acquire the building and refurbish it.

CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event today, just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub to our heritage.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “The Cardigan Arms, it must be said, is anything but ordinary, although it is on a street corner. The work here has been done with great care, using historic colour schemes and matching historic finishes.

“The pub has truly been restored to something approaching its former glory, whilst subtle changes, such as the introduction of a wide range of real ales and a brief but well-chosen menu to draw in customers from well outside the immediate area.”

A presentation event for the pub will be taking place at the Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent, which won the Historic England Conservation Award and will host the ceremony this year. The event is open to the press and will take place on 23 May at 12 noon.

Images of the pub are available here 

The Pub Design Awards, run in conjunction with Historic England, recognise the very best in British pub architecture and design. This year’s winners include:

  • The Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’ by Palmers Brewery which brought the tired and dated seaside inn into the modern era
  • The Royal Pavilion in Ramsgate for the conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub by Wetherspoons
  • The Slaughterhouse in Guernsey for the inspired conversion of a historic slaughterhouse into a unique and distinctive pub in the hub of St Peter’s Port by R W Randall
  • The Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent for Joules’ Brewery’s tasteful conservation of the historic tap house dating back to the 1800s
  • The Cardigan Arms in Leeds which was saved from closure by Kirstall Brewery, which turned around the pub’s fortunes

Pubs that were highly commended include:

  • The Sekforde Arms, London for its restoration after nearly 200 years of serving pints
  • The Butcher’s Hook, Thornbury which was left empty and derelict before significant investment brought the former butcher shop back to life
  • The Draughtsman Alehouse, Doncaster which was transformed from a disused storage area into a bustling micropub on platform 3b of Doncaster rail station