A LANDLORD caught in the middle of two major companies says her pub could be forced to close for good if they are made to pay for flooding repairs. 

Reading Railway Pub, in Station Hill, is currently undergoing urgent repairs after issues with its ancient plumbing system left the venue flooded. 

The pub, connected to Reading train station, is owned by Network Rail who lease it to The Arch Company. But while Network Rail has been leading the way with repairworks, landlord Loreli Leaver says she's been told they will have to foot the bill. 

The landlord, who took on the popular pub back in 2019, told the Chronicle: “I feel like we are being held at ransom as these big companies try and sort it out between themselves.

“Despite being big companies with a lot of reserve money behind them, I am being told that whenever they do get around to fixing it I will be forced to pay thousands of pounds for the repair which may not be possible.

“The longer we have to wait, the more business will go down the drain and we have already had to cancel multiple gigs already.”

With fixed costs for the business – rent, electricity, music license – piling up, and no revenue coming in due to their loss of facilities, the venue may find that it is unable to support itself.

She said: “If these two giants don’t get this sorted in the next few weeks I’m sorry to say that we could be forced to close which would be devastating.

“With the cost of repair, the clean-up, and the corrosion of profits when we’ve been closed we won’t have the money to pay out anymore."

According to all parties, multiple meetings have taken place to find a solution to this problem however nothing has been solidified as of yet.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Following a meeting with the tenant and the landlord, The Arch Company, we are engaging with contractors to carry out investigative work to determine the cause of the problem at the property.

“We are working with all parties to find a solution.”

Lorelei took over Reading Railway Pub in 2019 and has since battled through the difficulties caused by the Covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

The plumbing issue, caused by a blockage in the station's system, means that Network Rail will have to involve multiple train lines during the repair of their system.

Reading Railway Pub supports local artists within the community and host several events for local groups and organisations.