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Pub trades on as firm looks to sale

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: November 21, 2013

The Engine Room

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A LEEK pub is continuing to trade despite the company which owns it going into administration.

The Smith and Jones-owned Engine Room, at the top of Market Place, which is run under the Bramwell Pub and Bars brand, operates 185 premises across the UK and employs approximately 3,300 staff.

Peter Saville, Kevin Coates and Anne O’Keefe, partners at advisory and restructuring specialist Zolfo Cooper, were appointed Joint Administrators over Bramwell Pubs and Bars Limited (the Group) on October 31.

The Joint Administrators were appointed as a result of the group experiencing cash flow problems arising from the challenging economic environment.

Following the appointment, the Joint Administrators will continue to trade the majority of the estate while exploring a range of options, including the sale of parts of the business as a going concern.

A spokesman for the Engine Room confirmed to the Post & Times that the premises were continuing to trade as normal while administrators were dealing with the matter.

Last Friday the Joint Administrators announced they had successfully secured the sale of 78 sites to the Stonegate Pub Company Limited, in a transaction which secures approximately 1,700 jobs nationwide. However these did not include the Leek site.

Peter Saville said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured the sale of this significant number of units to Stonegate and we wish them and the staff all the best for the future.

“Our focus now is on working to secure futures for the remainder of the estate and we continue to invite parties wishing to make an expression of interest in these sites to contact Zolfo Cooper.”

Leek Town mayor John Fisher said it was good news that the Leek premises were to stay open after the company owning the premises had gone into administration.

He said; “Lets us hope that if the Leek premises are disposed of then a new owner is found to keep it open.

“This is a cycle of business. The Green Dragon has been wonderfully refurbished and is doing well.

“We must now hope that the Engine Room is retained, but if not a buyer is found to keep the premises open and also protect the jobs.” Leek councillor Pam Wood said she was relieved that the Leek business was not to be one of the premises that was closing immediately.

She said: “I hope a buyer can be found to take on the Leek premises as a going concern.

“We have a few more jobs coming to the town with the opening of the Premier Inn hotel. We do not want to lose any jobs in the town.”

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