Hoxne’s parish council chairman believes the spirit of the entire village will be lifted following the announcement their much-loved public house will re-open very soon.
The council says it received confirmation on Monday that The Swan, an historic pub and restaurant in Low Street, had found a new tenant, who has not yet been named, after almost a year of closure.
The Grade II-listed building, owned by Enterprise Inns, is now set to undergo a ‘considerable refurbishment’ and is targeting a re-opening date some time during the middle of next month, before the Easter holidays.
Parish council chairman Ted O’Connor told the Diss Express: “We are absolutely delighted. It has long been the heartbeat of the village.
“As a parish council, we have done our best to encourage Enterprise Inns along.
“The whole village doesn’t know just yet but everybody I have spoken to has been delighted.
“All of the documentation has been sent and they (the new tenant) are picking up the keys this week.”
The Swan, which traces its origins to the 15th century, shut its doors to customers in spring 2015, but shortly afterwards, it was registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), as the search began for a new person to take over the business operations.
Cllr O’Connor said the pub’s months of absence from Hoxne had created a ‘sullen mood’, explaining it was very important for local tourism and attracting footfall to amenities like the Post Office.
“I have to say the pub being closed has taken some of the life out of the village,” he said.
“It has not done our local shop any good, as the increased traffic has obviously in the past led to better sales.
“I am confident this will re-energise all of the immediate area. It will give the soul back to the village.”
Stuart Jarrold, a local resident and chairman of Hoxne Music Festival, described the confirmation of the re-opening as ‘fantastic news’.
“It’s the social hub of the village and we have missed it dreadfully,” said Mr Jarrold.
“There’s so many things going on in the village, and a lot of ideas are cross-fertalised at the pub. It’s part of the fabric.
“Lots of people say ‘what do you look for in a village’ and I say you want shops, a school and a good pub.
“I hope it will bring in visitors far and wide, and I hope the new people will help re-create the fantastic atmosphere it always had and make it a successful business again.”