DEPARTING Peeblesshire pub owners have thanked “staff, customers and friends” for their support as they head into retirement.

Stephen Harper and Fiona Ingrim have called time on their quarter-of-a-century tenure at The Gordon Arms Hotel in West Linton.

The property on Dolphinton Road has been sold to national pub company Trust Inns, with Craig McLaughlin secured as the new tenant to run the business.

In a joint statement, Stephen and Fiona said: “Thank you to all our staff, customers and friends for all their support over the last 25 years. It has been an incredible journey.

“Good luck to Craig and his team, we hope you all have as much fun as we did.”

The property is home to four bedrooms and a newly-refurbished restaurant and pub.

Prominently positioned on the A702, 10 miles south of Edinburgh, The Gordon Arms Hotel is popular with commuters, visitors and the local community.

A Trust Inns spokesperson said: “We are delighted to add The Gordon Arms to our estate and look forward to working with Craig McLaughlin and his team to continue the great work undertaken by the previous owners, Fiona and Steve.”

Simon Watson, business agent at Christie & Co who handled the sale, said: “I am delighted to have brokered the sale of this fantastic business on behalf of Fiona and Stephen, to Trust Inns Ltd.

“This transaction re-affirms the current investor appetite for the Scottish hospitality sector. We are seeing ongoing demand from all types of buyers despite the economic backdrop, demonstrating investors’ confidence in the market.”

Trust Inns owns more than 340 public houses around the UK.