Buyout deal saves landmark Sunderland pubs The Chesters and The Blue Bell

FILE PIC November 2013'Bluebell, Fulwell, Sunderland owned by the Bramwell Pub Company which has gone into administration.
FILE PIC November 2013'Bluebell, Fulwell, Sunderland owned by the Bramwell Pub Company which has gone into administration.
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JOBS at under-threat city bars have been secured now they have been bought by a national company.

The Echo reported earlier this month that Bramwell Pub Company had plunged into administration.

The Chesters on Chester Road, Sunderland.

The Chesters on Chester Road, Sunderland.

The firm operated Varsity, Chaplins, the Chesters and The Blue Bell in Sunderland, as well as Varsity in Durham.

All of the pubs had continued to trade, but there were fears for their futures after an administrator was called in.

The Chesters, Blue Bell and Varsity in Durham have now been bought by Stonegate Pub Company.

A spokeswoman for the Bedfordshire-based company said: “We are delighted to have acquired these fantastic sites, along with securing the jobs within each of the premises.

Varsity in Green Terrace, Sunderland.

Varsity in Green Terrace, Sunderland.

“We look forward to welcoming the teams to the company and successfully operating the businesses.”

A total of 78 pubs across the country have now been sold on, saving 1,700 jobs.

But there is still uncertainty over the future of Varsity’s Sunderland bar, in Green Terrace, and Chaplins, in Stockton Road, as they were not included in the takeover deal.

The Grey Horse in East Boldon has also been bought by Stonegate, having formerly been a Bramwell pub.

Varsity Sunderland and Chaplins today said they are continuing trading as normal.

A spokesman for Zolfo Cooper, acting as an administrator for Bramwell, said: “Following the appointment, the joint administrators continued to trade the business while seeking expressions of interest.

“As a result of this process, the joint administrators are pleased to announce that they have now successfully secured a sale of 78 sites to the Stonegate Pub Company in a transaction which secures approximately 1,700 jobs nationwide.

“The joint administrators will continue to trade the remaining sites while exploring opportunities to achieve going concern sales.”

Peter Saville, a partner at Zolfo Cooper, added: “We are extremely pleased to have secured the sale of this significant number of units to Stonegate, and we wish Stonegate and the staff all the best for the future.

“Our focus now is on working to secure futures for the remainder of the estate, and we continue to invite parties wishing to make an expression of interest in these sites to contact Zolfo Cooper.”