A MIDDLEWICH man bought the Kinderton Hotel at the last minute to save it from possibly being converted into apartments.

Shaun Ellison, 50, from Middlewich, snapped up the Kinderton Road building as it was due to be sold to developers.

The hotel officially closed on Monday, June 18 and the deal to keep the hotel open under new management was completed the next day.

Since reopening the bar four days later, it has been a busy time for Shaun Ellison and fellow managers Karen Ellison, Chris Latham, Colin Thompson and Jeannette Thompson.

The hotel is not expected to be open for another four weeks.

Shaun said: “It means a lot to us. The town has lost a lot of amenities and we know how important the hotel is to Middlewich.

“We heard a rumour that the building was going to be used for apartment blocks.

“About three weeks ago the owners, at the time, gave us a one-week window to get the deal finalised so it was a whirlwind of a week.

“We have had amazing community support, it has been very busy since we opened and obviously the World Cup and the weather has helped.

“We’ve had lots of things on for families such as live music and a bouncy castle on the opening night and having a big beer garden and a children’s play area definitely helps.

“We want families to feel welcome here.

“I think a lot of people have come not knowing all that we have to offer.”

Shaun said that most of the changes they have made so far have been subtle ones but one purchase was essential with England playing on the opening night.

He said: “One of the first things I did was to get a good outdoor TV for the football and the atmosphere for the England games has been brilliant.”

They are not yet running a full menu as they are still looking for a chef for the restaurant.

Shaun said: “It’s about finding that consistency, we were considering going with an agency chef but that was not ideal.”

Shaun said he was grateful to his family and friends and the community for their support during the takeover and the staff who have been recruited on short notice since the management changed hands.

Shaun added: "We would also like to thank Graham Albon who has agreed to stay on with us as general manager, we certainly couldn’t have re-opened so quickly without his knowledge and support, we are now looking forward to working together over the coming months to make The Kinderton a success.”