A COUPLE from Yate who took over a small country pub are celebrating a decade behind the bar.

Mark and Helen Janes became landlords of the Codrington Arms, on North Road, in January 2003 and quickly built up the business in more ways than the one.

The couple, who are both local to Yate, immediately set about transforming the quiet pub which was struggling to attract any customers at all.

“When we took it on in 2003 the place was doing hardly any trade at all,” said Mr Janes. “Within the first four years we had a huge extension put on and had doubled the size of the pub.

“Now we have been here 10 years and we haven’t looked back.”

Mr and Mrs Janes, who have two children, Emily, 5, and Oliver, 13, previously worked for local restaurants and hotels including Thornbury Castle and The Grange in Winterbourne.

They saw an opportunity to develop the Codrington Arms and after 10 years of running their own business, say despite its difficulties, the venture has been worthwhile.

“The last two years have been extremely hard,” said Mr Janes. “The recession and supermarkets selling cheap alcohol has made things tough. It ha been very hard, however, we are still here and we would really like to thank everyone for supporting us.”

He added: “It has been a really enjoyable 10 years and we have no intention of leaving. In fact eventually we would like to look at more development here, especially with more housing being planned in the area.

“We just want to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all our customers old and new.”

The family-friendly pub now boasts a busy restaurant and large enclosed gardens. A six-lane outdoor petanque court, introduced last year, is also proving popular with locals.

Mr and Mrs Hanes are celebrating their 10-year anniversary in private but are offering customers a 10 per cent discount on a main meal until the end of March.