THE landlord of The Outside Chance pub in Manton near Marlborough has reached an agreement with Wadworth brewery over pricing which ensures the pub’s immediate survival.

Howard Spooner, 49, and the Devizes' firm have settled their differences over the cost of beer after a lengthy dispute.

Mr Spooner said the pub made a loss each month at the old prices despite business holding up well, but now with the help of the brewery the pub is viable. Sharp words had been exchanged with Mr Spooner threatening to call time on the hostelry and concentrating on a hotel on the Isle of Wight.

He said he had been in negotiation with Wadworth over the prices for some time, but they had proved initially to be inflexible. After a robust negotiation process Wadworth have come to an amicable agreement with him. Chris Welham, CEO for Wadworth said: “We work closely with our business partners who have the freedom to operate their own businesses and take all the decisions concerning the operational and financial matters of running their pub.

"In this particular instance, our business partner has tenancy agreements at the Who’d A Thought and the Outside Chance although he has decided to relinquish the Who’ d A Thought It and concentrate on the Outside Chance pub and his hotel in the Isle of Wight.

"We are pleased to have come to an appropriate arrangement working with our business partner to ensure that the Outside Chance will continue to provide its local customers with the offer they have come to expect and support the local community and surrounding area.”

At the end of last year Mr Spooner closed the Wadworth pub the Who’d Have Thought It in nearby Lockeridge as it had proved to be uneconomical. Mr Spooner has been at the helm of The Outside Chance for a decade in which time there has been an erosion of trade nationally with many pubs closing.