Fire-hit pub on course to re-open by Christmas - but under new management

Fire crews at the scene of the blaze at the Ship Inn earlier this year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fire crews at the scene of the blaze at the Ship Inn earlier this year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A historic Suffolk pub which was devastated by fire at the start of the year is on course to re-open by Christmas but under new management.

The thatch had to be removed from the roof of the Ship Inn Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The thatch had to be removed from the roof of the Ship Inn Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Grade II listed Ship Inn at Levington was hit by a serious fire at the end of March.

More than 40 firefighters spent hours dealing with the blaze in the pub's thatched roof.

Investigations found that the fire was most likely to have been accidental, and caused by a burning ember from the pub's chimney.

Owners Adnams said that it hoped to have the pub re-open for Christmas and work has already been underway for several months to repair the damage to the building.

However, the re-opened pub will not be run by Adnams, but Deben Inns, who already run a number of pubs across Suffolk.

Nick Attfield, director of properties for Adnams, said: "Deben Inns will be taking on the lease at The Ship at Levington, following the restoration after the thatch fire in March.

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"Deben Inns already operate two Adnams properties - The Maybush, Waldringfield and The Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill - The Ship will be their third.

"The thatched roof is due to be replaced in October with the aim to re-open during the Christmas period."

Mr Attfield also said that some of the Ship's staff had been made redundant while the pub had been closed.

"We have worked closely with The Ship team following the fire in March - some of the team have been working in other areas of Adnams and some have left the business with a redundancy package," said Mr Attfield.

Writing on Facebook, Deben Inns said: "We're delighted to announce we'll be taking over the lease of The Ship Inn at Levington.

"After the devastating fire in March, restoration work has been ongoing (new thatched roof and all) and we are aiming to have doors open by Christmas."

As well as the new thatch, a new stove is proposed for the pub with work also being carried out to the pub's chimney.

It is hoped that new technology will be installed in the pub to try and prevent further fires in the future.

This year's blaze was the third serious fire at the pub with incidents having previously taken place in 2001 and also the late 1980s.