Salisbury Pub At Centre Of Novichok Incident To Re-Open Befiore Christmas

Greene-King-LogoThe Mill pub in Salisbury has been handed back to its owners Greene King after the completion of work to decontaminate the premises.

The city centre pub has been shut since Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed having been poisoned by the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in March.

On the afternoon they fell ill, the pair had visited the riverside pub for a drink before having a meal at the nearby Zizi’s restaurant.

The pub has been undergoing decontamination led by staff from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Defra said the decontamination work has now been completed and the site has been handed back to owners Greene King for refurbishment and maintenance work over the summer.

A Defra spokesperson said: “The thorough work to decontaminate The Mill pub in Salisbury has been successfully completed and we have handed the site back to Wiltshire Council, who have in turn passed it back to the owners to begin refurbishment.

“As with other sites in the South Wiltshire area affected by the incidents in March and June, government scientists have carefully examined the clean-up work and are satisfied that the pub is safe to return to public use.

“This is the sixth site to be handed back as part of the ongoing decontamination operation in the area, and it is great news that The Mill will be enjoyed by both Salisbury residents and visitors once again.

Andrea Greenwood, operations manager for the pub, said: “It’s good to get the pub back and we look forward to it being business as usual again at the heart of the Salisbury community.

“This has been a difficult few months for all of us in the area but we are pleased by this news and will now assess the extent of refurbishment work to be undertaken to get the pub back to its best.

“This is about more than just one pub and our thoughts are very much with everyone affected by events since March.

“It’s too soon to give a reopening date, but we are looking to the future and hope to be able to welcome the community back through our doors before Christmas.”