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Award-winning County Durham restaurant with rooms changes hands

Award-winning restaurant with rooms, The County in Aycliffe, County Durham, is now under new ownership, having been sold by Christie & Co to first time buyer, Michael Parkin.

Located in Aycliffe Village, The County is a restaurant and bar with seven en-suite bedrooms, which has recently been refurbished.

The County has earned the coveted TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award four years running, from 2015 to 2018 as well as a number 1 rating on TripAdvisor locally.

New owner, Parkin can now fulfil his long-term ambition to become a publican. Having previously held a managerial position at a nearby 5-star hotel and spa, Parkin has worked in hospitality since the age of 16 and has a wealth of experience to ensure The County will continue to thrive under his operation.

Furthermore, his strong local connections will be more than beneficial as Parkin is also the Chairman of the Fishburn Community Centre.

Parkin commented, “From the minute I first stepped foot in The County for a meal with family I knew this was the type of business I wanted to own. The quality of the food was very impressive, the staff were excellent and the décor and atmosphere warm and welcoming.'

Matthew Gudgeon, Finance Consultant who brokered the deal, said, “It has been a pleasure working for Michael and assisting him with his purchase of The County. New entrants to the sector can have trouble obtaining finance, but Michael’s can-do attitude and experience managing in the sector made him a strong applicant.

'I was pleased to be able to arrange finance on very good terms to allow Michael to complete the acquisition. Michael will be a superb landlord at The County, and I wish him all the best in the future.”

David Cash, Senior Business Agent for Christie & Co, who acted for the seller comments “I knew when taking The County to market, that it would prove popular with buyers. Food, beverage and accommodation income make for a well-rounded and sustainable business and in rural settings such as Aycliffe, this is often crucial to the success of a pub.

'The demand for licensed premises across the region remains strong and the fact that funding can be sought gives people like Michael a fantastic opportunity to buy their own business.”