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One of Suffolk’s biggest employers makes its first foray into the pub industry

PUBLISHED: 16:37 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 18:07 27 November 2018

Cock Horse reopens in Lavenham. Picture: Atalian Servest

Cock Horse reopens in Lavenham. Picture: Atalian Servest

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A well-known pub in Lavenham is re-opening with a new look after being bought up by one of the county’s largest companies.

Atalian Servest is better known for its facilities management services, from catering to building services and cleaning to security.

But the Bury St Edmunds business has now decided to dip its toes into the pub trade, with the purchase of the Cock Horse on Church Street in Lavenham.

Servest merged with one of the world’s other big facilities management outsourcing companies, Atalian, earlier this year, and the new company now turns over a massive $3bn a year and employs more than 125,000 people worldwide.

Now the company will lean on its experience in the catering sector by reopening the Cock Horse with a “wealth” of new guest chefs supporting head chef Chris Ince.

The pub they’ve taken on was built in 1953 and closed for several months in 2015, following a row which broke out in the village over whether the pub should retain its traditional thatched roof or have it replaced with small clay tiles in keeping with Tudor and Victorian properties in Lavenham’s Church Street.

In the end, the decision was made to keep the thatch.

The enterprise was previously managed by Rod and Jo Benson, who also run Number Ten cafe and wine bar in Lavenham’s Water Street.

Daniel Dickson, chief executive of Atalian Servest, said he was “delighted” to announce the Cock Horse as Atalian Servest’s first fully-owned pub.

“Atalian Servest is very proud of our award-winning reputation in the catering industry, and through our catering academy,” he said. “We look forward to showcasing this pub to both local residents and visitors to the beautiful village of Lavenham.

“The village is a destination dining venue and is ideal for our first venture into the pub industry. Our offering will ensure the Cock Horse has something for everyone and become a popular addition to the attraction of Lavenham.”

Mr Dickson explained that he wants the Cock Horse to become known for “good homemade food, with new healthy alternatives, combining both quality and affordability.”

“We have worked very hard on the new design and to break up the pub into areas of those who want to relax and enjoy a comfy dining experience, a romantic meal out or enjoy the latest sporting events in our bar area,” he added.

The pub officially reopens this Saturday.

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