A village pub will soon be back at the heart of its community, after being given a new lease of life.

The Queen at Great Corby shut in the summer, but its new owners have already begun work on transforming the venue and preparations are underway to be open in time for the Christmas period.

The lease was taken on by experienced restaurant owners Robert and Sylvia Cowan and business partners David and Roweena Corkill.

The four are currently re-building the Golden Fleece at Ruleholme, near Brampton, after demolishing the existing building earlier in the year.

That property, with 23 bedrooms, two restaurants, lounge bar, a function room and conference facilities, is set to open in spring 2021.

The masterplan is to create an upmarket development to cater for a wide range of local, leisure, business and travel consumers.

While the team behind the Golden Fleece rebuild admit they had initially had no intention of taking on another premises, when the opportunity came up to take over The Queen, they jumped at the opportunity.

Robert has recruited a chef and is now looking for other staff, including an experienced restaurant manager, to come on board with the project.

He said: “This is such a lovely country inn, set in the middle of a picturesque village. It is just crying out for someone to come in and give it a bit of attention.

“We weren’t necessarily looking to take on other premises, but this was too good an opportunity to miss.

“We’ve done our homework and we’re convinced we can provide the right combination that will bring back the locals, and re-establish The Queen as a great place to dine and relax.”

Internal decoration and re-branding are now underway, with the pub set to re-open in December with a seasonal menu.

Renovation work is expected to see one, larger dining room created upstairs with 50-covers. A more informal pub dining experience will be served downstairs.

The pub sits alongside the green and belongs to the Corby Castle Estate.

Its new leaseholders are looking to support the village‘s own Cumberland Breweries by serving the locally-brewed ale, and will also look at re-instating some of the pub’s previously popular features, such as quiz nights.

David added: “We feel a pub like this is a real community asset.

“We’d like to see it being used for all types of functions, both large and small.”

Tim Hughes, head brewer at Cumberland Breweries which is based across from the pub in Great Corby, said: “It will be great to have the village pub open again, and we’re delighted that we’ll have a range of our beers on sale there.”