Landmark pubs in Sunderland, Houghton, Washington and East Boldon sold to new owners after parent company went into administration

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A string of landmark pubs are now under new ownership their parent company went into administration.

Greens in Sunderland city centre, The Prior in Doxford Park, Britannia in Houghton, Cross Keys in Washington, Guide Post Inn in Springwell Village, Black Bull in East Boldon, and Lambton Arms in Chester-le-Street all went on the market in January 2024.

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Punch Pubs and Co have acquired the 24-venue portfolio in the North East and Yorkshire under the sale of The Milton Three Pub Group.

The agents said sale of the portfolio attracted ‘a high level of interest from the corporate trade operators, many of whom had had a strong desire to grasp the opportunity to add a good-sized group of pubs’ to their holdings.

Emma Turnbull of Avison Young said: “Interest exceeded our expectation which demonstrates that the market remains strong for the right pub product in, what is, considered to be a difficult trading environment.” 

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She said the sale attracted two rounds of competitive bids with Punch Pubs and Co being the successful bidder for 24 pubs.

One pub, The Victoria, in Whitley Bay, was stripped out and sold to Amber Taverns, which has already started work on a full refurbishment.

The pubs were operated by Queensway Advisory during the administration process, and Avison Young said the venues’ ‘overall trading performance exceeded the same period last year’.

Agents said the performance of the venues while in administration, and the ‘very good offers received’ dispelled the myth that ‘businesses in administration can be acquired at a discounted price’.  

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Emma added: “I look forward to following the progress of the pubs, many of which are local to me, as Punch gradually incorporate them into their portfolio whilst maintaining the management services of Queensway Advisory in the interim period.”


The full list of pubs sold to Punch Pubs includes:

Black Bull, East Boldon

Black Bull, Morpeth

Britannia, Houghton

Cross Keys, Washington

The Crown, Wickham

Dirty Habit, Whitley Bay

Elephant, Ashington

Greens, Sunderland

Guide Post Inn, Springwell Village

Lambton Arms, Chester-le-Street

Lloyds Arms, Grimsby

Millstone Hotel, Gosforth

New Inn, Wetherby

Old Courthouse, Barnsley

Ox Inn, Oxhill

Porter Cottage, Sheffield

Prior, Doxford Park

Priory, York

Red Lion, Wakefield

Ship & Royal, South Shields

Smiths Arms, Billingham

Sun Hotel, Shipley

Whistle Stop, Beeston

White Bear, Barnsley

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