A POPULAR pub in Bransford has opened its doors this week for the first time since it was severely damaged during flooding in the region earlier this year.

The Fox Inn in Bransford - part of the Chef and Brewer Collection managed by Greene King - has undergone a full restoration following the flooding in February.

Alan Dearden, general manager, said: “I am delighted with the new look.

“It’s a fantastic pub in a thriving part of Worcester and having lived in the area most of my life, I am excited to welcome the local community to come and enjoy the pub again.”

We reported in February how a worker at the Fox Inn had barricaded himself inside to try and hold back the flooding from Storm Dennis.

Steve Edrop, 42, who worked and lived at the Fox Inn in Bransford, said at the time: “Water is rising steadily here at Bransford. We have barricaded the pubs frontage with sandbags.

“However, we are concerned the water will enter the pub at some point today as it’s risen a foot in the last 2 hours.

“Low clearance cars won’t be able to drive through that depth . I live on site with another member of staff.

We can leave , but need to stay and stop water coming in at the moment.

“The pub is dry for now, but water is coming through the first barricade and on to the porch. We’ll be fine, plenty of food and beer here!”

The re-opening of the Fox Inn comes as Greene King announced plans to permanently shut dozens of pubs, with the loss of 800 jobs, after being hit by tighter restrictions in the face of the pandemic.

The company said it will keep 79 of its sites shut for the time being, with around one third of these closures expected to be permanent.

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It called on the Government to provide urgent support for the hospitality sector while tightened restrictions, such as the recent 10pm curfew, remain in place.

Greene King, which was bought by a Hong-Kong real estate giant last year, is one of the UK’s biggest hospitality firms, with 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK.

A spokesman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to Government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.”