A PUBLICAN who specialises in re-opening old pubs that have fallen on hard times has taken over the Old Cross Inn at Ammanford.

Rob Megson and his partner Sophie Hulbert will be re-opening the celebrated Quay Street hostelry on Friday – having vowed to ‘help breathe new life’ back into Ammanford town centre.

“We are both very excited about the future and truly believe the Old Cross is about to enjoy a whole new chapter in its long history,” Rob, 56, told the Guardian.

“The Old Cross has always been on my radar and I remember sitting up and taking interest when Brains Brewery closed it two years ago after its 99-year lease ran out.

“I have now purchased the freehold which we believe will give the old place a fighting chance – Ammanford needs a pub like the Old Cross.”

Mr Megson said his passion is to bring former pubs back to life.

“I’ve been in the industry since 1994,” he said. “Myself and Adrian Duffy, my long-time business partner, were the guys behind the King George IV in Upper Cwmtwrch.

“I’ve also worked at the Aubrey Arms in Ystradgynlais and The Red Lion in Llangadog, but I’ve always wanted The Old Cross.

“We will be bringing value to the high street – it won’t be expensive to drink here and our food will be reasonably priced.”

And Mr Megson believes strongly the Old Cross can play a part in the community’s fightback against the pandemic.

“Yes, the pandemic has made life hard for everyone, but we will get through it by hook and by crook,” he said.

“What’s the alternative to not going out? Do we all become housebound? We need to strike back against this thing – and one of the ways to do that is by supporting local businesses.”

The Old Cross team is completed by chef Adrian Duffy and Steph James, who will be responsible for the kitchen at The Flames barbecue restaurant at Brynaman which Mr Megson plans to open next February.

“We have some exciting plans down there too,” he said, “including lining up an appearance by that legendary 60s band The Fortunes.”