Owner of Morpeth, Ashington, and Whitley Bay pubs enters administration

A firm that owns 25 pubs, including in Morpeth, Ashington, and Whitley Bay, has appointed administrators to find a buyer for the company and its assets.
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Milton Portfolio Op Co 3 Limited owns The Black Bull in Morpeth, The Elephant in Ashington, and The Victoria and Dirty Habit in Whitley Bay. The bars are all managed by Blackrose Pubs.

All the firm’s pubs across the North East and Yorkshire will continue trading while administrators Interpath Advisory look for a buyer, and all 264 members of staff have been retained.

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Ryan Grant, managing director at Interpath Advisory, said: “This is a portfolio of profitable, strong-performing, and established pubs, comprising 21 freeholds and four long leaseholds, located across the north east of England and Yorkshire.

The Elephant and The Black Bull are among the pubs owned by Milton Portfolio Op Co 3. (Photo by Google)The Elephant and The Black Bull are among the pubs owned by Milton Portfolio Op Co 3. (Photo by Google)
The Elephant and The Black Bull are among the pubs owned by Milton Portfolio Op Co 3. (Photo by Google)

“We will be appointing selling agents in due course, with a view to bringing the portfolio to market at the optimum time to realise maximum value for creditors.”

The manager of The Elephant, which is on Newbiggin Road, took to the pub’s Facebook page to reassure regulars that it would be open as normal.

The post said: “It has been a crazy few days for me and all my staff at The Elephant.

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“As you all may have seen there has been some coverage on social media and online news about Blackrose pubs.

“If you have any questions regarding what you have seen I am more than happy to answer any questions.

“We will be operating as normal going forward and thank you for your continued support. I will see you all at the bar.”

Theo Stafford, relief manager at The Black Bull in Morpeth, said that bookings have been cancelled since the news was announced and customers have raised their concerns with staff about the future of the pub.

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He added: “We are having to do the best we can with the tools we have been given due to the administration process, but we are still trading and our opening hours are the same as usual.”

A spokesperson for Blackrose said: “Blackrose Pubs is working with all appointed parties relating to the unfortunate administration of the profitable Milton Portfolio Op Co 3.

"If there are any queries regarding the Milton Portfolio Opco3 in administration, please contact the appointed administrator.

“We would like to reiterate these premises are not owned by Blackrose Pubs and we continue to operate as normal, and continue to look for opportunities for growth to serve the needs of the licensed sector.

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“Our remaining operated pubs continue to be managed and operated professionally without disruption and are not involved in any way by the circumstances around the cause of Milton Portfolio 3 and its obligations to its creditors.

“Blackrose has had the privilege to have worked alongside the staff and management associated with the affected pubs for the past five years. It is understood that trade and jobs are both unaffected at this time, and we share our best-wishes to them for the future.”