An historic south Norfolk pub which was restored at a cost of £700,000 after it burnt down is being auctioned off with a guide price of just £250,000.
The Grade II-listed 17th Century Chequers Inn, on the A1066 in Bressingham, was faithfully restored to English Heritage specifications after it was gutted by fire in October 2009.
The food-led pub reopened in summer 2011, but after two tenants came and went, its owner Enterprise Inns, a large pub company, was unable to find new landlords and put the property up for sale in June with Roche Surveyors, with an asking price of £350,000.
And now the pub will be up for auction, including its freehold, via auctioneers Auction House at Dunston Hall, south of Norwich, on September 12.
Its auction surveyor, Robert Hurst, said: “Auction gives certainty of sale. The price has dropped significantly to a level that will really attract people.
“It is fairly early days but we have had some interest and I would expect it to sell somewhere between the £250,000 to £300,000 guide price.
“I think it is a great opportunity, possibly for an owner occupier who can then run it in their own way, on their terms. It has been refurbished and is ready to go.”
Janet Delasalle, acting chairman of Bressingham and Fersfield Parish Council, said: “It would be so nice to have it back up and running for people to enjoy. I’m pleased it is being sold as a freehold, and with the right person, it could be a goldmine.”
But whoever takes on the pub would have to pay business rates of £27,750 per year, as well as face competition from the nearby White Horse in South Lopham, and White Hart in Roydon.