Landmark pub bought by Lancashire businessman

MANAGER: Stephanie Braidwood at the Fairfield Arms
MANAGER: Stephanie Braidwood at the Fairfield Arms
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Lancashire businessman Simon Rigby – who owns the Villa Country House Hotel at Wrea Green – has added another eaterie to his portfolio.

Mr Rigby has completed the acquisition of The Fairfield Arms at Kirkham.

This follows his recent purchase of the adjoining hotel, which has become The Villa Express.

The traditional pub, close to Junction 3 of the M55, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum and will become The Villa Italian in the summer.

Later this month, the ‘Leaf or Bean’ café will open on the site.

Along with The Villa Hotel, in Wrea Green – a former 19th century gentleman’s residence with 31 rooms – the group is also preparing to open new Lake District venue The Villa Levens in summer 2014.

The Villa at North End is the PNE Football Club exclusive caterer and the group also operates an outside catering company, The Villa Outside.

It also sells its own brand of food under the Villa Finest brand.

Stephanie Braidwood along with all the former staff of The Fairfield Arms, has been retained.

She will manage the new venue.

Stephanie said: “The Villa Italian is in a prime location off the M55, The Villa is a recognised brand that signifies quality food, made with locally sourced produce.

“The plans and investment that will now go into the site will make a significant impact on the level of service and quality available in the local area.

“We are all very excited about the planned change.”

Mr Rigby owns a range of companies and last year tried to buy Preston Guild Hall.