Fine & Country Inns, a new venture focused on pubs in rural Yorkshire, has secured its first site by taking a Punch Taverns leasehold.

Around £500,000 will be invested in the Strafford Arms in Stainborough. Fine & Country Inns is owned by local businessman Gary Hunt, who has spent two decades in the late-night leisure industry creating and operating venues.

Hunt said: “Following my extensive experience in licensed leisure I could see there were tremendous opportunities in providing high quality country Inns with restaurant facilities.

“There is now a strong demand for high quality in terms of environment, food and service. Fine & Country Inns was designed to develop historic venues in picturesque Yorkshire villages, transform their interiors and provide modern British cuisine using locally sourced fresh produce topped off with exceptional service.

“At the Strafford Arms we plan to create a classical contemporary venue that has all the modern benefits of the 21st Century whilst retaining the charm of its historic past.

“We have a tremendous line up of both national and local real ales and craft beers, we will be open every day for afternoon tea and have put together extensive exotic tea and coffee menus.”

Punch Taverns partnership development manager John Laite said: “It’s great to see the investment in this venue and we essentially want to reposition the Strafford Arms to become one of Yorkshires little gems that can provide a comforting country inn experience with a wide selection of drinks and a quality dining offering both for local people and the many visitors to Stainboroughs’ incredible Heritage site at Wentworth Castle.”

The Strafford Arms is to re-open in May.