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£690k County Durham coaching inn seeks new owner

Award-winning The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield, a modern British coaching inn located in Stockton-On-Tees, is on the market via Christie & Co, with a guide price of £690k.

The Pickled Parson occupies a prominent, elevated position in the centre of Sedgefield, an affluent village in County Durham and forms party of a long-established drinking and dining circuit, which is popular with locals, but also benefits from tourist trade.

Formerly ‘The Crosshill Hotel’ prior to 2017, The Pickled Parson has been restored and modernised to a very high standard, to create a smart, community-focussed venue. In keeping with this focus, the venue’s new name was inspired by the folklore tale of a local clergyman whom after his passing, was said to have been preserved in salt by his wife, in order for her to collect his yearly donations from the town’s people.

The ground floor of the venue is divided into two main rooms: a well-presented bar and lounge, and a restaurant dining area, complete with a bar server and combined seating for approximately 70 customers. Arranged over the first floor are nine luxurious en-suite letting bedrooms; each individually decorated with a welcoming contemporary design, with views over the village green and St Edmund’s Church.

The current owner, Tim Wilks, a property developer and businessman in the hospitality sector, has made the decision to sell the venue to focus on growing his boutique bowling firm, Lane7. The North East bowling company has confirmed plans to launch three new sites in the coming months.

Wilks commented, “The Lane7 bowling alleys have always been our core business and the pubs have been an excellent bolt-on to our hospitality portfolio. As the bowling business grows and we imminently expand in to four new locations, now seems a good time to scale down our involvement in the pub-hotel sector.

'We disposed of another pub last year, The Fox Hole at Piercebridge when we were going through a similar period of expansion and it helped focus our attention on Lane7. That’s the idea behind the sale of The Pickled Parson – we have an exceptional team in there and the business will continue to run as normal.”

The sale of The Pickled Parson presents a fantastic opportunity for an experienced operator to acquire a prominently located, high-quality and well-performing asset, which requires no investment.

The elegant pub would suit either a multi-operator who could continue to run the site under management, or an owner-operator who could drive growth by working in the business themselves. The Pickled Parson benefits from multiple income streams and turnover is healthy and growing, however there are still opportunities to develop the business further.

David Cash, Director at Christie & Co, said, “The Pickled Parson has gained a fantastic reputation locally since its refurbishment and re-opening a couple of years ago. I acted for Greene King, the previous owners when Tim bought the pub in 2017 and the transformation is unbelievable. It is refreshing to see local operators investing in the region.

“We are currently seeing an increased demand from purchasers for hospitality businesses, as many buyers look for an alternative lifestyle whilst capitalising on the growing popularity for staycations, or experienced operators look to bolt quality assets on to their existing portfolios.

'As a company we have brokered the sales of more than 150 hospitality businesses since 1st April and expect to agree many more deals in the coming months.'