A high school data manager from Brecknockshire has taken immediate ownership of the Usk & Railway Inn in Sennybridge with the support of six-figure funding from NatWest.
Linda Renkes has purchased the the Usk & Railway Inn in the Brecon Beacons National Park using a £250,000 funding package from NatWest which she will run alongside her husband Andy Renkes.
After taking ownership in June this year, the finance has enabled Linda and Andy to modernise the interior and exterior of the pub, including refreshing the décor and upgrading the outdoor space, while retaining the pub’s traditional atmosphere.
The couple have also launched a new website and will host weekly events, including quiz nights and music evenings, to appeal to both locals and tourists visiting the national park.
Dating back to the 1800s, the Usk & Railway Inn is named after the nearby River Usk and the former railway line that ran through Sennybridge. The town-centre pub has become a well-known local landmark, open daily for food and drink, as well as offering six en-suite bed and breakfast rooms.
The existing chef will continue to create homemade dishes and locally-sourced daily specials served in the 50-cover restaurant. Linda and Andy have also added to the selection of drinks on offer with new Welsh real ales and locally-sourced gins.
All eight jobs at the Usk and Railway Inn have been safeguarded and recruitment is underway for additional team members to join the team. In a family effort, the couple will also be helped by their three children in their spare time.
Linda said: “After working in our careers for more than 30 years, myself as a data manager at a secondary school, we mutually decided we wanted a new challenge and opening a pub seemed like the perfect opportunity to use our combined skills. After viewing many other pubs, we found the Usk & Railway Inn which was exactly what we had been looking for; something we could walk straight into without doing much work.
“With NatWest’s support, we have successfully moved into the pub and commenced business. While we plan to keep everything similar to previously, plans are underway to slowly grow and update the business.”
Carol Jones, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Linda and Andy are already well-loved by their staff and locals in the area, and since opening in June have made some positive changes to the popular community pub. We will continue to support the couple as their business grows over the coming years.”