THE owners of Munnelly's Bar in Southbroom Road say it will stay a pub despite the resignation of licensee Bill Montgomery.

Mr Montgomery handed it over to the Punch Pub Company on Monday.

He said he is buying property near Alicante in eastern Spain and also opening a night club on the busy Costa Blanca.

Munnelly's underwent a £40,000 facelift in April and offered a pizza and pasta service, but Mr Montgomery decided to close the pub two weeks ago.

He said: "We had been here seven years and it seemed time to move on."

He recently renovated the former amusement arcade above the One Stop shop in the Market Place at a cost of £150,000, and opened Billy's Gym and Tonic, which has attracted a lot of interest from local keep-fit enthusiasts.

He said: "The gym has been very successful.

"Because of that we are now looking to expand it.

"I have enjoyed the last seven years at Munnelly's very much but it is just another episode in my life."

He said he thought his future lay in Spain.

He said: "I have been buying property near Alicante.

"I'm hoping to spend a lot of time over there, and maybe even have time to get in some golf.

"We also have plans to open a night club in the area."

He added: "But we will keep our contacts with Devizes as we have a lot of friends here."

A spokesman for the Punch Pub Company said: "We cannot say what will happen to Munnelly's until we have had a chance to appoint a new licensee."

"But we have no plans to do anything with it except continue to run it as a pub."