NEW owners have turned a closed-down pub into a thriving business at the heart of their community.

In November 2013 the owners of the Aldwark Arms approached Pete Hardisty and his two brothers to see if they were interested in buying the pub.

Mr Hardisty said: “Our fatherhad farmed in the village all his life, and our family had many special memories of the pub when it used to be the centre of the community.

“Since the previous owner had closed the pub, however, it was a very risky business to take on and we spent many a sleepless night deciding what to do.”

However, the brothers, who are vying for the New Business of the Year and Best Business and Community Link titles, believed they could run the business successfully as they had close relationships with the Aldwark village community. , and tThe pub was also well situated down the road from the Aldwark Manor Ggolf Cclub and Spa Hhotel, wherefrom where it could attract custom from visitors too as well.

Mr Hardisty also had experience of working for other local pubs. “Taking all this into consideration,” he said, “we felt we could make this pub a special place.”

The sale of the pub was completed at the start of last December last year, leaving him with a lot of hard work to open before Christmas.

His whole family helped refurbish the pub and promote and plan the opening. They held two opening evenings to which the local community were invited, and opened every day throughout Christmas and the New Year in order to raise their profile and take advantage of the increased business over the season.

The Aldwark Arms has helped to create employment in the area and now employs 20 local staff. The pub has continued to grow, introducing seasonal menus and popular Steak Nights.

It recently received a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for receiving continued outstanding comments from customers on the website.

Mr Hardisty said: “We are so proud to have turned our village pub, that seven months ago was closed, into a thriving and welcoming dining pub with excellent food and atmosphere. It’s the centre of the local community. Everyone is welcome.”