The ambitious Liberation brewery has snapped up 21 pubs put up for sale by West country brewer Wadworth.

It’s been a difficult year for the Devizes based brewer.

In June, the family owned company ditched plans, announced in December last year, to relocate its town centre brewery to a greenfield site on the edge of the Wiltshire town.

At the time the then chief executive Chris Welham said: “The headroom we created in our bank borrowings for our new brewery is being used throughout this period of closure and as a result our plans for a new brewery have now been placed on indefinite hold.”

Now the company has confirmed it has sold 10 per cent of its pub estate to the Butcombe brewery based in Somerset, which is owned by the Jersey based Liberation Group.

The sale of sees the Butcombe estate grow to more than 60 pubs.

Wadworth chairman Charles Bartholomew confirmed the sale of 21 pubs and said he hoped the transfer of ownership would be seamless.

“All Wadworth employees in the managed sites will transfer to Liberation under TUPE. I am in no doubt that these pubs will continue to thrive under their new ownership and remain central to the local communities that they serve,” said Bartholomew.

The Liberation Group CEO Jonathan Lawson said the pubs, which extend from Oxford, down to Bournemouth, Bath and Bristol, would be a good fit into the Butcombe estate

Lawson said his company planned to invest in the Channels Island estate of more than 40 pubs as well as the Butcombe pubs.

“With the support of Caledonia, our ultimate shareholder, we look forward to maximising the opportunities we believe these sites present via a blended approach to the offer and environment of these pubs delivered by their great teams,” said Lawson

He said the Liberation and Butcombe pubs had benefitted from people taking staycations.

● Wadworth has announced a restructure of its business. Chief executive officer Chris Welham is to leave the company in December having led the business for a period of five years. Toby Bartholomew, son of chairman Charles Bartholomew, will take over as managing director.

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