REAL ale campaigners say 16 pubs are closing across Britain every week but a family in Moulsoe, near Newport Pagnell, knew they had a gem of a business on their hands at The Carrington Arms.
The Dodman family, local residents for more than 20 years, took on the Grade II historically listed Carrington Arms in 2008 when it was “close to closure” and turned it round.
The family’s success has been so marked that they’ve managed to get £300,000 out of a bank – NatWest to be precise – to buy the 125-year head-lease.
Nigel Dodman who runs the business in Cranfield Road with his wife Denise, brother Clive and son Peter said: “The Carrington Arms has been a very interesting enterprise.
“We have lived in Moulsoe for over 20 years and have been able to turn around a business that we knew well but which was close to closure at the time that we acquired it in 2008.
“It is now a successful pub, so we are delighted to have made this long term commitment by purchasing the lease with the assistance of NatWest. The village setting and history of the building give it such a warm feeling.”
The pub is just two miles from junction 14 of the M1 and has built up a reputation for its meat and seafood counter. It also has bedrooms providing overnight accommodation.
The family has plans to invest further in the business to secure its long-term profitability. It included obtaining planning permission for eight additional bedrooms.
Phil Milton, senior relationship manager, commercial banking at NatWest added: “Nigel and the family are good examples that successes still exist in the licensed trade which has had a tough couple of years. The Carrington Arms proves the old adage of location, location, location works and our support is to help them realise their ambitions for the pub.”
The purchase of the lease extends the family’s business portfolio which also includes The Kings Lodge Hotel in Watford and the West Herts Squash & Fitness Centre in Watford.
The pub website is – www.thecarringtonarms.co.uk