A COUNCIL leader has said he wants to try to persuade pub-owners not to rebrand their town centre premises as a “PoundPub.”

Owners of Georgia Brown’s, a mid-market pub in Stockton, have said they want to rename the place as PoundPub and sell halves of beer for £1 and pints for £1.50.

But following a story in The Northern Echo, Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, has said is is concerned the pub will project the wrong image for the town and wants to hold talks with owners.

He said: “We are concerned about the potential impact of these proposals. Stockton Town Centre is undergoing a major regeneration project and we want it to be an inclusive place for everybody to enjoy.

“We are inviting the applicants to meet with us so that we can better understand what they are trying to achieve and encourage them to explore alternative ways of making their establishment more commercially successful.”

Joanna Wake, of Stockton Town Team, an independent group of residents and businessmen and women, trying to improve the town centre, said: “Businesses do not need to be low cost to survive in Stockton.

"Earls of Ashwood deli serving fine cheeses and The Storytellers pub serving fine and real ales from around the world – both of which are absolutely thriving, prove it perfectly.”

Mike Wardell, a director at Here for Your Hospitality, which owns the pub, said he would be happy to meet with Coun Cook and hear any proposals.

He stressed the idea was promote sensible drinking and anyone who looked under 25 would be challenged for proof of identity. No-one drunk would be served.