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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Treasured by hunt followers, Cumbrian village pub goes up for sale

A village pub treasured by Cumbria’s hunting fraternity is for sale and could go to a developer.

Welton pub photo
The Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds Hunt rides out from the Royal Oak

The Royal Oak at Welton is the meeting place for the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds. Marstons, the parent company of Cockermouth brewer Jennings Brothers, has been seeking a new leaseholder since May last year.

It is now advertising the freehold through the Manchester office of leisure-property specialist Fleurets.

The sale particulars do not give a guide price but simply invite “offers”. No trading figures are available.

The particulars say: “An experienced operator may see the potential of offering cask-conditioned real ales and fully utilising the facilities to offer food and to hire out the annex flat.

“Alternatively, the premises may be of interest to developers wishing to change the use subject to planning permission.”

Welton lost its school at the end of 2011 – losing the village pub would be another blow.

A spokeswoman for Marstons said that the disposal was part of a review of the brewery’s estate that would see some pubs sold and others acquired or opened.

She added: “Marstons are advertising the freehold and in the interim would consider a leasehold arrangement. The ideal situation would be for someone to keep it on as a pub.”

Marstons has also confirmed that the latest licensees at the Royal Oak, Mike and Sharron Wilkinson, left last week.

It says that the couple, who were previously at the Bluebell in Dalston, were employed by a management company and would be replaced.

The pub’s facilities include a lounge bar, dining room with 40 covers, kitchen, four en-suite letting bedrooms, an annex flat, beer patio at the front and parking for around 13 vehicles at the back.

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