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White Lion pub in Kimberley ‘in safe hands’ as new owners announce reopening date

A pub in Kimberley is “in safe hands” after it was sold to new owners who will reopen it for the first time in months.

The White Lion, in Swingate, announced it was closing its doors in November 2021, with its owners saying their retirement dreams had been “shattered” in the process.

Graham Sharp, 73 , and Yvonne Shanks, 69, who run the former CAMRA Pub of the Year, said the closure had cost them “an absolute fortune”.

The pair had taken ownership of the pub back in 2013 and claimed a former tenant, who is no longer at the property, did not pay all of their rent payments and still owed them money.

However, the former owners have now completed the sale of the pub to Pub People, a chain based in Alfreton.

A spokesperson for the company told Nottinghamshire Live: “We sold the White Lion today to a pub chain called Pub People, it’s in safe hands and will continue as a pub for many years to come.

“The Lion roars again.”



Owners Graham Sharp and Yvonne Shanks pictured in 2016 celebrating the White Lion winning CAMRA Pub of the Year
Owners Graham Sharp and Yvonne Shanks pictured in 2016 celebrating the White Lion winning CAMRA Pub of the Year

The pair previously told Nottinghamshire Live that, despite receiving offers from developers, it was important it was retained as a pub for the local community.

The Pub People hopes to reopen the White Lion early next month, after decorating it ready for customers to return.

Andrew Crawford, operations director at the Pub People Company, said: “We are delighted to bring The White Lion into the Pub People estate.

“After completing an internal decoration, we will be reopening in early March.

“Our focus will be restoring an excellent community pub with a focus on locally brewed ales.”

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