The future of a Sudbury pub has been secured after the landlord finalised a deal to buy its freehold following a series of failed attempts.
Chris Drake has run The Bay Horse in Melford Road with his partner Micaela Andrews since 2003.
The couple have been attempting to buy the pub outright for the last five years.
Earlier this month, the pair were successful in their efforts to negotiate the freehold from Enterprise Inns.
“We have finally got the building lock, stock and barrel,” said Mr Drake, 41.
“We have been hanging in there paying the bills for years and it’s great to finally get a yes.”
Mr Drake said the couple would have struggled to keep the business open if their attempts had continued to be rejected for much longer, fearing it would go the way of vacant pubs such as the Highbury Barn in Great Cornard and the Pied Cow in Sudbury.
“If we hadn’t bought it, I don’t know what would have happened,” he said.
“It is very hard to make pubs pay at the moment.”
Now that the couple have taken full control, they are planning to redecorate inside and out and are set to increase opening hours during the day later in the year.
“Hopefully we can keep the pub going for a long time to come,” added Mr Drake.