Saved! Tenants strike deal to keep popular Norfolk pub open

Kings Head pub at Brooke. Landlords Nathan Horsfall, left, and Mark Bridges.

Kings Head pub at Brooke. Landlords Nathan Horsfall, left, and Mark Bridges. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A popular pub which was at risk of closure looks to have been saved after its tenants struck a deal to keep it open.

Kings Head pub at Brooke.

Kings Head pub at Brooke. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Kings Head, in Brooke, had displayed posters saying the pub would be calling last orders on Monday, January 8.

It was set to be sold off after the owners of the pub, Last Wine Bars Ltd, went into creditors' voluntary agreement.

Tenants Mark Bridges and Nathan Horsfall believed they would have to give up the pub which they took over in 2015.

But the pair have been able to extend their lease for three months and are in talks to buy the pub.

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Mr Horsfall said: 'It's fantastic that we have been able to come to a deal and can stay open.

'There has been so much hard work go into the pub over the years having worked here for more than five years.

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'It is a good pub for the village. The customers were sad to hear it was going.

'There is definitely a community atmosphere with the everyone coming in as a place to socially meet.'

Andy Newman, from Last Wine Bars Ltd, said the holding company had been in financial trouble since losing the lease to the Playhouse bar which it had held for the past 18 years.

As part of this, the directors of the free hold, who own the Kings Head, decided to sell the pub.

The building is Grade II Listed and dates back to 1627, when it was a cottage.

The district and parish councils have offered their support in an effort to stop another landmark pub closing.

Leader of South Norfolk Council, John Fuller, said: 'I'm delighted that the pub has been saved at a time when so many are closing their doors for the final time.

'It's been a real team effort, with the district and parish council ensuring that the Kings Head's status as an Asset of Community Value was recognised.

Mr Horsfall and Mr Bridges are hoping to secure ownership of the pub in the new year.

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