The Chestnut Group, the East Anglian-based pub group, has acquired the Black Lion in Long Melford, on the Suffolk/Essex border, for an undisclosed sum.

It is the sixth venue for the group, which was founded in May 2012 by former banker, Philip Turner.

Turner said: “We are very excited about acquiring The Black Lion; it has a great history and fits our portfolio perfectly. Our team members and the local community are passionate about this site and are very excited about this new chapter”

The group aims to re-open the bar, restaurant and ‘garden room’ to be open in the autumn, with further work on the bedrooms once the business is open.

The new menu will focus on uncomplicated and simple British food, with daily changing specials through to stone baked pizza’s from the new oven.

In addition to the current team members, the new team at The Black Lion will include the first graduate of The Chestnut Academy. The Academy was set up in 2015 to offer vocational training and a guaranteed management position for those wanting a career in hospitality.

Turner said: “The academy has been an overwhelming success. We currently have eight fantastic students on the academy who are looking forward to starting their management career with The Chestnut Group”.