A RIVERSIDE pub "with so much potential" has been taken on by a Colchester family with a grand vision for the venue.

Matthew Allum and his family are the new landlords of The Crown pub in High Street, Manningtree.

The family, who live in Eight Ash Green, are taking on the pub in addition to running The Cricketers, in Colchester, which they have managed for 15 years.

Green King approached Mr Allum back in January to ask if his family could take on a second pub.

After learning the pub on offer was The Crown, Mr Allum seized the opportunity.

The 36-year-old said he "fell in love with the pub" when he first visited the venue two years ago with his brother-in-law for lunch.

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"I thought the pub had so much potential and was in an ideal location in the middle of town, with amazing views of the estuary," he said.

"I always try and see the best in everything, and I have a real vision for The Crown."

Mr Allum has already started renovating the pub, and has spent £10,000 on improving the kitchen.

The kitchen is set to be completed this Friday.

He also hopes to extend the pub's rear terrace and convert the store room into an alfresco dining area for customers.

There are also plans to redecorate the interior of the venue, and change the lighting on the inside and outside of the pub.

"We are in the process of designing the inside and we hope to have it completed within the next three to four months," Mr Allum added.

"If it was down to me I would want it all done now."

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The family is currently in the process of doubling its work force from ten to about 20 staff members.

Mr Allum said: "I have never seen so many CVs in my life.

"We are hoping to have about 20 staff members in total - and the recruitment drive has gone really well so far."