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Barnack's last pub, The Millstone, saved by Stamford businessman

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Heart ruled the head when Stamford businessman decided to spend £620,000 during lockdown to save a village pub.

Spotting potential in the Millstone at Barnack, Paul McSorley has big plans to breathe new life into the Grade II listed building, and has pencilled in its re-opening for June 4.

The Millstone called time last year, prompting Barnack Parish Council to launch a campaign to save the community's last remaining pub.

The Grade II listed Millstone pub at Barnack
The Grade II listed Millstone pub at Barnack

Paul, who owns a Stamford-based development business, originally booked a viewing with a redevelopment in mind, but was soon swayed by the building's charms and the community's passion for their pub.

"I spoke to some friends in the village and it just seemed such a shame," he said.

"The last pub in a big village had closed and the heart started ruling the head really.

"It is either the worst timing in the world to invest in a pub or the best time!

"People tend to appreciate what they haven't had and we all realise at times like this we are social animals and people have missed their pubs."

The Millstone bar before its removal...
The Millstone bar before its removal...

Having first seen the The Millstone last October, Paul bought it for £370,000 from Everards in January, and a head chef, sous chef and bar manager have since been recruited.

Plans first have to be approved and building work completed on an extensive £250,000 refurbishment which includes new flooring, ceilings and bar, an overhail of electrics and plumbing, and new parking access

In addition, Paul, who also owns a Dubai-based sports travel business, is keen to convert a barn in the pub's courtyard into a country store and cafe to exploit its location near to the Barnack Hills and Holes nature reserve.

...and after. Stripped out and awaiting a fresh new look
...and after. Stripped out and awaiting a fresh new look

"I met a number of individuals and looked at the business plan and how it could be brought back to life and that gave me the confidence the support was there should we get it right," he added.

"It's not all altruism. I think it will be a success as well as a community asset. Despite a lack of investment in over the years it still had a lovely feeling.

"I am a big believer in that if you see it, others will see it too.

"To be a success it has to be a destination pub - somewhere you're prepared to get in your car and come to for a night out.

"For that we need to get the food right, the drink right and the ambience right."

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