Twist in pub mystery - Co-op is new owner

A MYSTERY plaguing an Ipswich community after the closure of a popular pub is today closer to being solved.

A MYSTERY plaguing an Ipswich community after the closure of a popular pub is today closer to being solved.

The Evening Star can reveal the new owner of The Dales pub on Dales Road is the East of England Co-op.

Just three weeks after the landlord called time for the final time and after a bid from Tesco's to put one of their Express stores on the site was scrapped, the future of the pub is now looking more secure.

But in the long-term a new Co-op

A spokesperson for the society confirmed they have acquired a site in the parade of shops in Dales Road, including The Dales public house and the adjoining Balfours food store, currently operated under lease by The Co-operative Group.

And concerned local residents and businesses in the area have given their backing, welcoming the “community friendly” company in to the parade of shops.

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But despite the announcement of new landlords the exact short term future of the site remains unclear.

Richard Samson, Chief Executive of the East of England Co-operative said: “We're pleased to have been able to take ownership of this investment property, which is located at the heart of the Dales Road community.

“The Balfours food store will continue to trade and we are seeking tenants for the vacant public house on a short term lease while we consider our future plans.”

Mandy Jacobs, manager of Blooming Dales fruit, veg and flower shop said it would be nicer to have a Co-op on their doorstep than a bigger supermarket.

She said: “Co-ops have always been part of the local community and hopefully they would safeguard the jobs of those people already working in the Balfour store.

“I think we would welcome them, they are community friendly.”

A spokesperson for the East of England Co-operative Society said anyone interested in leasing the premises should contact their property team.