Job hopes as Marco Pierre White buys Norfolk-based pub and hotel chain

Marco Pierre White says Norfolk and Suffolk people with talent could find jobs in the pub and hotel group he has just bought, which has its headquarters near Stalham.

As revealed in the EDP last week, the world-famous chef and restaurateur is the new owner of the Maypole Group, which includes the Wayford Bridge Hotel, between Smallburgh and Stalham, together with The Lifeboat Inn and Old Coach House, at Thornham, The Bridge Inn, at Acle, The Angel Hotel, at Lavenham, and The Pear Tree Inn, at Whitley, in Wiltshire.

A spokesman for White, who became the youngest-ever chef to receive three Michelin stars, aged 33, said he would be running the new venture: 'from the team involved to the artwork on the wall,' with every dish on the menu being his own creation.

She added: 'White is relentless in his mission for spotting and nurturing talent, so this is an exciting opportunity for locals working, or starting out, in the catering and hospitality field.'

White and his business partner, hotelier Paul Clark, say they plan to create 'an affordable, yet exceptional, hospitality experience for all, outside of the capital.'

Their new acquisition will form part of a new hotel and pub company under the banner of The Wheelers Group, providing a total of 440 restaurant covers and 61 bedrooms.

White teamed up with Clark not long after buying the Wheeler's of St James's brand and last year the pair launched two venues outside of London: The Chequers Hotel, in Maresfield, East Sussex, and The Kings Arms, Fernhurst, West Sussex.

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The spokesman said the long-term vision for Wheelers was to develop a portfolio of freehold premium country inns and small boutique hotels across the UK. At least four out of the six former Maypole Group venues would trade under the established Wheeler's of St James's brand, and all would be refurbished to reflect White's 'unique personality and style.'

Last year White established links with Norfolk when he became a brand ambassador for Bernard Matthews. He said at the time: It really is an iconic British brand, based on one great man's vision more than five decades ago.

'I am honoured and privileged to be working with Bernard Matthews Farms to promote the great bird and put turkey back on menus across the UK.'