One of Ely’s most popular pubs has been saved from closure - preventing more than a dozen staff from losing their jobs.
The Hereward, in Market Street, has faced an uncertain future for some months ever since the Bramwell Pub Company went into administration.
The pub’s team of 15 staff, including managers Wendy and Dave Smith, were also told they would lose their jobs if the pub were to close.
But award-winning Stonegate Pub Company has announced that his purchased the busy drinking hole as part of a package of 78 pubs nationwide.
Staff have also been told that their jobs are safe.
Cheryl Trotty, 28, from Ely and who has worked at the pub for around a month, said: “It’s fantastic news for us all and it feels like a massive weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
“I have bills to pay and Christmas is just around the corner so losing my job would have been pretty awful.
“It’s such a great place to work and we’re all relieved that a buyer has been found.”
Ashley Jarvis, 26, from Littleport, said: “I’ve worked at The Hereward for around eight years.
“I love my job and we’re a great team.
“We’ve all been really worried about the future and nobody wanted to see The Hereward close.
“We’re one of the busiest pubs in town so it would have been devastating for us to have closed.
“We’ve all been told that our jobs are safe and the pub will be run pretty much as it currently is, which is great.”
The Stonegate Pub Company has also acquired Ye Olde Griffin in March.
Toby Smith, chief executive of the firm, said: “We are delighted to have concluded the purchase of Ye Olde Griffin and The Hereward and welcome the teams who work within them to Stonegate.
“They are fantastic sites with great potential and we are particularly pleased that with this deal we can secure the jobs of approximately 1,600 people nationally too.”
The news comes just weeks after East Cambridgeshire District Councillors threw their weight behind a campaign to safeguard the future of local pubs.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for the Government to improve the planning system so that it protects pubs and does not allow them to be converted into other uses, such as housing, without planning permission.
District council leader James Palmer has now written to the Government in support of the campaign.