AN historic East Staffordshire pub which has been frequented by royalty has been saved from closure after a secret bidder snapped up the premises.
The Meynell Ingram Arms, in Abbots Bromley Road, Hoar Cross, which dates back to the 17th century and whose previous customers include the Prince of Wales, was set to close its doors for the final time on March 25, having been placed into administration in October last year.
However, administrators Begbies Traynor revealed to the Mail the venue had been purchased and was due to close – but only while a ‘massive revamp’ takes place.
Steven Williams, administrator and partner at Begbies Traynor, told the Mail: “I can confirm that a party has bought the Meynell Ingram Arms but, at the moment, due to a confidentiality clause the new owners cannot be named.
“I can also reveal the pub will close, but only while the new owners undertake a complete refurbishment at the site.
“I understand that there are no plans to change use at the site and it will still be a pub.
“However, the refurbishment could mean it being closed for some months.”
The pub was put up for sale after ‘cash flow problems’ at Meynell Pub Company Limited forced administrators to be brought in.
At the time, suppliers hit out at the firm after learning they were likely to be left thousands of pounds out of pocket due to the move.
The watering hole, which is believed to have cost around £1.3 million when purchased in 2007-8, remained open throughout the process and, despite attempts, the Mail has been unable to ascertain how much the site is being sold for.
The pub is well known across the borough for the staging of the Downhill Soapbox Race, which raised money for various charities.
It has been visited on several occasions by Prince Charles when he was attending meetings of the Meynell.
It was awarded the title of Pub of the Year in 2004 and 2005 in the Taste of Staffordshire Awards, having also won the Restaurant of the Year gong in 2003.
Once owned by East Staffordshire landowners the Mercer family, it has had a more chequered recent history, with several changes of management.