SIX iconic East Lancashire pubs have hit the market after the company they were owned by folded earlier this year.

A further four venues formerly operated by the Seafood Pub Company, based in West Lancashire and Yorkshire, have also been put up for sale.

All ten of Joycelyn Neve’s award-winning pubs were placed on the market this week by specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, after the company went into administration in May.

Among other locations, Ms Neve’s portfolio of pubs included the Assheton Arms in Downham, the Oyster and Otter in Blackburn and Forest in Fence.

A letter written by Miss Neve to staff at the time of company’s collapse revealed that a break in trading forced by the coronavirus pandemic had been the final nail in the coffin for her business.

Now Christie & Co have listed all 10 properties on the market upon instruction by joint administrators Ryan Grant and Kerry Bailey of BDO LLP.

A statement reads: “Prior to the business’ closure, Seafood Pub Company grew from its founding in 2010 to become a highly successful group of traditional destination country inns and pubs.

“Predominantly food-led, the sites are renowned for their quality, having previously been operated as gastropubs with a seafood focus. However, they also exhibit diversified revenue streams through strong wet sales and a high-margin accommodation offering of 62 luxury letting rooms across seven of the properties – an incredibly lucrative market currently experiencing high growth due to the rise in staycations across the UK.”

“All 10 inns and pubs are in excellent condition, having recently received over £7m in capital expenditure across the sites. This portfolio represents a unique opportunity for either an experienced operator to increase the size of its estate through the acquisition of well-established outlets, or an opportunity for a new entrant to build up a high-quality estate of critical mass in a single transaction.”

Noel Moffitt, Senior Director of Corporate Pubs and Restaurants is handling the sale said he was ‘delighted’ to be dealing with such an exceptional portfolio.

He said: “Initial feedback from prospective purchasers has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating the strength of demand for well invested managed houses across the UK. Despite being currently closed, these sites can be reopened immediately post completion, with significant potential for growth across food, wet and accommodation revenues. This is a fantastic opportunity for buyers of all sizes to increase their portfolios with as many of these well-positioned assets as they have the appetite for.”