A BELOVED landmark pub is due to reopen after it closed down nearly two years ago.

The iconic Plume of Feathers has been bought by the owner of a small chain of pubs and has vowed to retain its character and to preserve its local identity.

Steve Bellman, who runs Inns of Devon and Cornwall, with business partner John Milan and their team, is waiting to sign an occupancy agreement from the property and landowner, the Duchy of Cornwall (which owns the freehold) before sealing the 30-year lease.

He said it was a large project which the entire Inns of Cornwall and Devon team are involved in, steered by John, himself and the operations manager Mike Goff and therefore, hopes to reopen on a phased basis later this summer. They will need to recruit about 30 local people to run the pub. The team is already employing local businesses to ensure the outside is safe and waterproof.

Steve said: ‘It’s always sad to see a business not operating and historic buildings deteriorating. The Plume is a Grade Two listed building and is loved by so many people.

‘Not only was it missed greatly when it shut down during the pandemic, but since people have found out I’m opening it again, there’s been so many supportive comments to me.

‘It’s going to be exciting for the village. It’s a big building and everyone knows it. People have been coming here for all their lives. They come for a walk on the moor then have a roast on a Sunday.

‘The Plume will return as a country pub with the character it always had. We always reflect what residents and customers want in their local pub and the Plume will stay a warm, cosy place with pub classics. The food will be pub classics, but made well. The Sunday roast was famous and will return.’

The pub also has a bunk house for affordable hikers’ accommodation, staff and guest rooms and a camp site on the grounds, which will also reopen.

Steve added: ‘We will be more than a pub. The Plume will be brought back to life as the centre of the village and provide employment before it open and when it opens.

‘It will be a catalyst for injecting more life into Princetown, but supporting local businesses where we can. For instance, we’ll have a partnership with the Dartmoor Brewery and with Tolchards which is a South West drinks distributor. Local food suppliers will be top of our list as well, to provide quality and reduce food miles.’

The pub is Princetown’s oldest building, built in 1795. However, it requires substantial repairs externally and modernisation internally (such as rewiring) to make it safe and attractive.

Steve said: ‘The Duchy have been very supportive and enthusiastic about our plans and that has helped us with long-term thinking and investment.

‘The pub has become run down and needs extensive work to make it safe for customers, residents and staff and to make it more able to withstand the harsh Dartmoor weather.

‘It has a bright future again. We will return it to its glory days, when it was one of the main reasons for visiting Princetown and we want villagers to feel proud of what will be their pub again.’