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'It's certainly a bit of a turnaround' - Norwich pub that faced closure scoops award from firm it was in dispute with

PUBLISHED: 16:43 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 05 July 2019

The Brickmakers won Best Entertainment Pub in the Ei Group awards. Pictured is (second left to right) Charley South, Pamela South and Emma Rose. Photo: Ei Group/Mark Eaton

The Brickmakers won Best Entertainment Pub in the Ei Group awards. Pictured is (second left to right) Charley South, Pamela South and Emma Rose. Photo: Ei Group/Mark Eaton

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A city pub that faced closure has triumphed at a national awards event organised by the pub firm it was in dispute with.

Last year the future of the Brickmakers pub looked bleak as lease negotiations with publican chain owners Ei Group led to an announcement that the venue would have to close its doors for good.

But now, after a rally of support from the public, the Sprowston Road pub is on the cusp of completing a new five year lease and has just been named Best Entertainment Pub 2019 in the Ei Group awards.

Landlady Charley South, who runs the Brickmakers with Pamela South and Emma Rose, said: "It certainly is a bit of a turnaround isn't it?

"It's been a very tough and emotional year for us, being distraught at the thought of having to leave and then being elated and empowered by the amount of support we received from the public.

"It has been a bit of a roller coaster and I think that going through the turmoil of the lease battle brought us to the attention of the bosses at Ei Group."

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Speaking about the award, Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said: "Entertainment is such a key aspect to the success of a pub and Pamela has done a fantastic job of showcasing young, local musicians while creating a real community feel within the Brickmakers.

"The work she does with the community is second to none and the pub would not be the same without her and her team."

READ MORE: Save the Brickmakers: Norwich Evening News launches campaign to save city pub

Miss South said she was pleasantly surprised to win the award as The Brickmakers was "up against some of the best pub music venues in the country" , and went on to make an impassioned plea for the people of Norwich to make the most of their locals.

"Our pubs face so many challenges, competing with supermarket prices, colossal overheads and battling with the internet," she said.

"The way society has changed makes it so much easier and cheaper to stay in and be entertained, but there is so much going on in Norwich, let's not waste it."

READ MORE: Pub that faced closure signs new partnership with city musician group

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