Stroud’s Ship Inn to become part of growing Five Valleys’ family business

A Stroud restaurateur has revealed big plans for the Ship Inn, as the Brimscombe Port pub becomes part of his growing business empire – due to open in July 2021.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

The owner of a popular Stroud restaurant and outdoor catering firm is set to take over the lease of the pub he has wanted to run since he was a young trainee chef.

Wesley Birch and his team are working hard on a giving the Stroud District Council-owned Ship Inn in Brimscombe a makeover and are expecting to open by Thursday 8 July 2021.

He will be selling coffee, cakes and lunches during the day, while promising to preserve its pub identity.

‘Ever since I moved to the district when I was 16, I have always looked at The Ship and thought “I’d love to run that pub”,’ said Mr Birch, who trained at William’s Kitchen in Nailsworth and now runs Birch Restaurant in Stroud town centre and an outside catering firm.

He will be moving in with his wife Rosie and daughters Edith and Ada.

‘It’s a wonderful building. We’re investing in it heavily to make it a welcoming environment.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and my team to extend our ever-growing business… I’m incredibly lucky to have a very skilled team and supportive family.’

The 18th century pub stands on the Brimscombe Hill road, alongside the route of the Thames & Severn Canal.

It was bought by Stroud District Council in February 2017 as part of de-risking the redevelopment of Brimscombe Port and the Cotswold Canals Connected restoration.

‘One of the council’s key priorities is helping to create a sustainable and vibrant economy that works for all and this fulfils that.

‘I’m delighted to have Wesley and his team aboard after a competitive tendering process, and I’m looking forward to sampling his menu,’ said Stroud District Council Leader Doina Cornell.

By Andrew Merrell

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