The town’s MP joined members of the community at the New Inn in Sidley on Friday (October 26) to press the new owners to commit to the pub’s future.
Earlier this year, Star Pubs & Bars, the pub business of Heineken UK, bought the pub, one of 1,900 it purchased from Punch Taverns.
Residents have been concerned about the future of the pub, which has been beset with problems over the past two years including a badger sett in its garden and serious structural issues.
Bexhill MP, Huw Merriman said he had been working with the previous tenant to find a solution but the costs of repairs and updating were too great for the landlord to continue and the keys were given back to the pub chain owner.
The MP and community members were pleased to receive a commitment from Star Pubs & Bars that it is about to invest a substantial sum to make the pub structurally sound, improve the landlord accommodation and upgrade the commercial kitchen which had been shut down.
Mr Merriman said: “I have been working closely with Rother councillor Jimmy Carroll and Jay Carroll, chairman of the Heart of Sidley, on a number of projects in Sidley over recent months. I know how important the New Inn is to residents who have told me they are worried about its future. I therefore invited Star Pubs & Bars to meet me at the New Inn so I could hear more about their long-term plans.
“I am very encouraged to hear of their investment and commitment in the long-term future of the New Inn.”
Sophie Goodall, head of corporate affairs for Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We were delighted to talk to Huw and the community about our future plans for the pub.
“We took over the New Inn in March this year, and we have consistently said we want the pub to remain open. We hope the community are reassured by our plans to invest and refurbish the pub and look forward to finding the right licensees to run it for the long-term.”
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