Campaigners 'excited' pub with uncertain future will reopen
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
Campaigners have said it is "great news" their pub will reopen once a leaseholder is found.
The Macebearer, a Greene King pub on the Nowton estate in Bury St Edmunds, shut its doors when the country went into the first national coronavirus lockdown and has remained closed ever since, even when pubs were legally allowed to operate with restrictions in place.
Regulars launched a campaign to show Greene King, which is based in the town, the strength of support for the Macebearer in the hope of persuading the major pub operator and brewer to reopen the site.
Greene King has now announced it plans to reopen the Macebearer later this year after recruiting a tenant, an independent publican, who will be in charge of running the pub.
Tom Anderson, from the campaign to save the Macebearer, said they looked forward to welcoming and supporting the new leaseholder.
He said: "It is great news and now we can see that Greene King are intending to reopen the Macebearer once a leaseholder is confirmed.
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"After over a year without the pub, and all the concerns about whether or not it would reopen, it is very welcome news.
"The community needs its pub back and people are very excited at the idea of returning when it is open and seeing their friends again."
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The Macebearer, off Hardwick Lane, was forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic and Greene King said it had not been financially viable for the pub to reopen with measures in place such as social distancing and table service only.
The recruitment process has now started to find an experienced publican who has the financial resources to take on the running of the pub to maximise what it has to offer the local community.
Previously the Macebearer was operated by Greene King, but under the tenanted model Greene King will lease it out to an independent publican who will make decisions about how it operates, from food and drinks choices and employing the team, through to the business finances.
Samantha Wortley, from Greene King is leading the recruitment process for a tenant, she said: “This is an amazing opportunity for an experienced pub operator to run a community pub in Greene King’s hometown of Bury St Edmunds.
“We’ve seen an amazing community response while the pub has been closed with hundreds of people saying how important the pub is to them and we do hope to find someone who can take the pub forward to ensure it thrives for years to come.”
The online petition to save the pub was signed by more than 600 people.
Any experienced pub operators interested in enquiring about The Macebearer can visit the Greene King website or call 01284 843 200.