'We can make a difference' - Another Suffolk pub saved in wake of shock closures
PUBLISHED: 09:01 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 24 May 2019
Two of the three Suffolk pubs which shut down after their holding company collapsed under the weight of mounting debts have been saved.
Service giant Atalian Servest has taken over The Long Melford Swan, bringing a vital community hub back to life.
The pub was previously run by Stuart Inns Ltd but closed down at the end of April, with the firm left owing millions to creditors.
Along with The Lavenham Greyhound and The Hadleigh Ram, it was part a trio of gasto-pubs which suddenly closed under the company.
While The Lavenham Greyhound reopened under new ownership as a tapas restaurant within days of the closure, the long-term future of The Hadleigh Ram is still unknown.
This is the second Suffolk pub Atalian Servest has saved following the renovation and reopening of The Cock Horse in Lavenham.
"It's really nice to be in another local village where we can make a difference to the community", said manager Chris Poole.
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"We have a good relationship with the local suppliers and support the local network."
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The manager said attempts had been made to retain previous members of staff but this was not possible - with the pub employing 12 new people.
Under the new ownership the pub is dedicated to sourcing all of its produce from local sources such as Lavenham Butchers, Infusions 4 Chefs, Fisher and Woods, and Clarke & Son butchers.
Due to the pub's prominence in the community the new owners wanted to ensure it would be serving as soon as possible - opening earlier this month following a refurbishment of the bar area.
Work to renovate the pub's overnight rooms is still under way and by June it will offer luxury boutique bed and breakfast accommodation.
Mr Poole added: "We had a mini refurbishment - the bar area has been redone and now we will focus our energy upstairs."
Atalian Servest chief executive Daniel Dickson added: "The pub will help us to develop the prestigious reputation set by our team at The Cock Horse by serving skillfully executed and beautifully presented British cuisine, with great service."
Former owners Stuart Inns Ltd have come under fire in the wake of the pub closures - which left some customers who had already paid deposits out of pocket.