HUW welcomes investment for Sidley’s New Inn to secure its future
Bexhill MP, Huw Merriman, joined community members at the New Inn in Sidley last Friday to press the new owners to commit to the pub’s future.
Earlier this year the new owners, Star Pubs and Bars, the pub business of Heineken UK, bought the New Inn. The pub was one of 1,900 pubs they bought from Punch Taverns.
Local 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. The MP, a member of the Campaign for Real Ale for decades, 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 very 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. This means that the pub will once again be able to offer a full range of services to local people.
Huw said “I have been working closely with Rother Cllr Jimmy Carroll and Jay Carroll, Chair of the Heart of Sidley, on a number of projects in Sidley over recent months. I know how important the New Inn is to local residents who have told me that they are worried about its future. I therefore invited Star Pubs and Bars to meet me at the New Inn so I could hear more about their long-term plans for the pub. I am very encouraged to hear of their investment and commitment in the long-term future of the New Inn. I look forward to seeing their improvements to the pub which will put it back at the heart of the local Sidley community.
Sophie Goodall, Head of Corporate Affairs, Star Pubs & Bars: “We were delighted to talk to Huw and the local 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.”