Potential bid to retain pub failed in talks

A POTENTIAL operator of a former Aldwick pub has spoken of his frustration over its closure.

Andrew Batty said he had been interested in buying The Ship Inn for a free house with a new restaurant. He began talks with the building’s owner, Enterprise Inns, to be told it would not sell the site.

Mr Batty, who lives in Hertfordshire, said: “I am convinced it has great potential if it is run well and not shackled by a large faceless company that seems to manage by numbers and is out of touch with customers.

“I, for one, am prepared to put my money where my mouths is to prove the Ship Inn has a future. Unfortunately, I will not get a chance.”

Mr Batty grew up in Bognor Regis and visited The Ship Inn last year for a drink. He was unimpressed and offered to buy the site. But he said he was told by Enterprise the firm wanted tenant landlords. The company contacted him later only for their talks to founder on the same matter.

A Morrisons store is set to open there, as reported.