Bury St Edmunds campaigners celebrate after Greene King confirms The Macebearer pub will reopen later this year
Campaigners who fought to keep a Bury St Edmunds pub open are celebrating after it was confirmed the 'community hub' will welcome back customers later this year.
The Macebearer, in Home Farm Lane, has been closed for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and was among 53 Greene King pubs which stayed shut last autumn when lockdown restrictions were eased.
Fearing for its future, residents launched a campaign to ensure it reopened with hundreds signing a petition.
Today, Greene King announced it will transfer the 47-year-old pub to its leased and tenanted division and should reopen later this year.
It said the move would give the pub 'a new lease of life' and a recruitment process has started to 'find an experienced publican who has the financial resources to take on the running of the pub to maximise what it has to offer the local community'.
Pub regular Adrian Knox, 54, said campaigners were 'extremely happy' with the decision.
"At one point we were all very worried because we had no idea what was happening," he said.
Mr Knox said it would be 'great to see everyone again' when the pub reopens as it provided a 'community hub and social life for many people'.
"It's really good news and everyone I've spoken to so far is really pleased and we can't wait to meet up again," he added.
"Thank you Greene King. You have made my day."
Previously, the Macebearer was part of Greene King’s Local Pubs division, with the company solely responsible for the running of the pub.
Under the tenanted model, Greene King will still own the pub but lease it out to an independent publican who will be in charge of running the pub and decide how the pub operates, from food and drinks choices and employing the team, through to the business finances.
Samantha Wortley, Greene King Pub Partners business development manager, is leading the recruitment process for a tenant at the pub.
We do hope to find someone who can take the pub forward to ensure it thrives for years to come - Samantha Wortley
She said: “This is an amazing opportunity for an experienced pub operator to run a community pub in Greene King’s home town of Bury St Edmunds.
"We’ve seen an amazing community response while the pub has been closed with hundreds of people saying how important the pub is to them and we do hope to find someone who can take the pub forward to ensure it thrives for years to come."
Any experienced pub operators interested in The Macebearer can visit www.greenekingpubs.co.uk or call 01284 843200.