A NORTON pub has been sold to a national operator.

The Derwent Arms, in Church Street, has been bought by the national pub operator Punch Taverns.

The sale was completed by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, for £699,950.

Owners John and Sheila Rushworth, who had been at the helm of the pub for 18 years, decided to sell the Derwent Arms so they could retire.

“We loved running the pub and will miss our customers immensely,” they said.

“We have now moved into our new home and are very much looking forward to our retirement.

“We would like to thank Christie & Co for all of their help and patience during the time it took to complete on the sale, we would have found the whole process very stressful, but the team were always on hand, even out of hours to guide us through.”

Matt Hendry, business agent at Christie & Co, which handled the sale, said: “This is another example of a quality pub achieving a very good price in the current market. We have seen high levels of interest in pubs with rooms, or with the potential to incorporate rooms.”

A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “This Cask Marque pub is an impressive stone building with outside areas and a large car park to the rear. The pub is well known in the area for a tasty pub food menu and has also built a strong following for the live sports that are shown on a weekly basis.

“We are planning to invest in The Derwent Arms and enhance it to its best, with a full redecoration of the main trading areas and external decoration, along with new fixtures and fittings.

“The pub is well known by locals in the town and following a large investment, we would also anticipate it also being a welcoming choice for visitors to the area.”