ONE of Boscombe's most popular watering holes has been put up for sale.

The Sir Percy Florence Shelley is one of 45 to be put on the market by the pub company JD Wetherspoon.

The company has said the pubs could attract interest from existing pub, bar and restaurant groups.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Wetherspoon has put its pub in Boscombe on the market.

“We appreciate that our loyal customers will be disappointed with the decision.

“Like other companies, Wetherspoon has to take commercial decisions, which while beneficial for the company, might not always be welcome by customers.

“The pub will remain trading as normal until or if it is sold.

“There will be no job losses as a result of the announcement.”

The Percy Florence Shelley opened in 1998 and was named after the son of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Percy Florence Shelley lived at nearby Shelley Manor.

The pub’s premises was originally the entrance and foyer of the Carlton Super Cinema, a 1931 building which was the sister of Bournemouth’s current ABC. The cinema auditorium was demolished in the early 2000s.

Harry Seccombe, licensee of nearby Chaplin’s Wine Bar, said of the sale: “If a sensible operator goes in there and invests more money, it will be good.

“We need something that size because that’s where the football crowds go, in terms of service to the community.

“A well-run pub is good for an area; a badly run pub is bad.”

Wetherspoon has appointed CBRE and Savills to handle the sale of 45 pubs, 33 of which have never been on the market before. They are being considered for sale individually, in small packages or as a portfolio, and all are in London and the south of England.

Wetherspoon has already sold packages of pubs to operators including Amber Taverns, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Hawthorn Leisure, Stonegate and Urban Pubs & Bars.

A spokesperson for the joint agents said: “The portfolio represents an excellent opportunity to acquire high volume businesses with strong food sales in established locations which are fitted to an extremely high standard.

“We therefore anticipate a broad range of interest from pub, bar and restaurant groups.”