DEVIZES brewery Wadworth is to turn its flagship Bear Hotel into a managed house as landlord Gordon Straker announces he is to take a step back.

Mr Straker, who is also the founder of Straker estate agents, became tenant of the hotel in the Market Place eight years ago but he has decided that now aged 70 he wants to slow down a little.

He will remain as managing partner of the business and the brewery says all other staff will stay on.

Mr Straker said: "“At 70 I think it may be time to slow down a little but I’m not ready to stop just yet! I was keen to stay involved at The Bear and feel this is the start of a new era for both me and Wadworth. I look forward to continuing to welcome guests, old and new, to the hotel.”

Rupert Bagnall, Operations Director at Wadworth comments: “Gordon has been a fantastic business partner for us and we are delighted that he has agreed to join us as a managing partner. He is an asset to both Wadworth and the town.”

Situated in the heart of Devizes, the 16th century hotel has entertained many notable guests including King George III, Queen Charlotte and Edward VII. The Bear has 25 en-suite bedrooms, a celebrated restaurant serving seasonal, simple ingredient-led dishes – showcasing the best of local produce – and the Cellar Bar which hosts regular open mic, comedy and live music evenings.