A man starting out in the licensing trade at the age of 58 is looking forward to the challenge of becoming landlord of an iconic Cardigan venue.

The Black Lion Hotel in Cardigan High Street is due to reopen on Thursday, October 11, at 5pm, with the restaurant welcoming guests the following day.

Andrew McDonald, a native of Yorkshire and has lived in Cardiff for the past two decades, has had numerous occupations but it will be a new experience for him as licensee of the former coaching inn.

The three-storey hotel, which has 12 en suite bedrooms, bar, restaurant, function and games rooms, ceased trading two years ago when the lease holders moved away from the area.

Relishing taking over the hotel, which is owned by former building contractor Peter Phillips of Crymych, the new man at the helm said “I have always wanted to be in the licensing trade but have not been able to afford it until now.

“Although I am new to it all I will learn and my staff have vast experience,” he said, adding that he planned to run a traditional family orientated establishment.

There has been concern among business leaders and others over the lengthy closure of one of the most iconic hotels in south Ceredigion.

Welcoming the development town mayor Cllr John Adams-Lewis said “This is good news.

"It is a shame that it closed as we need somewhere like the Black Lion in the town centre to attract and cater for visitors.

"I’m delighted to see it reopening and hope the venture is successful.”