Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans took his turn behind the bar at The Coachman in Hartford to find out how its licensees have turned around the pub’s fortunes since taking on the pub a year ago.

Trade at the pub opposite the railway station had tailed off over time until Chris and Vicky Lane took it on at the beginning of 2013.

Thanks to their hard work and a joint £270k investment with Star Pubs and Bars, Heineken’s pub division, Chris and Vicky were able to put the pub back on the map and have tripled trade since re-opening.

They created what they describe as a village pub and kitchen for the community and for travellers, upgrading the kitchen to enable them to offer lunchtime and evening meals, as well as coffee and snacks. Most recently, they have upgraded the six en-suite bedrooms to offer excellent value from £39.50 a night and added a self-catering apartment.

Graham Evans MP said: “I am delighted to support The Coachman in Hartford. Pubs make up the heart of local communities and so I was delighted to learn about investment from Star Pubs and Bars, as well as the hard work of Vicky and Chris to revitalise The Coachman.

“I am the vice chair of the Beer All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), a qualifying member of the Save the Pub APPG, so it is always a pleasure to meet with successful pubs to learn how they have invigorated their businesses.

“The Coachman has returned to its rightful place in the heart of Hartford’s wonderful community and I look forward to learning about its progress in the future.”

Chris Lane said: “The Coachman had like many pubs become somewhat tired over the years. It only appealed to a small number of customers. It needed an injection of cash to bring it up to date, broaden its appeal and offer the comfort and standards customers increasingly expect.

“It’s not enough to open the doors and expect customers to come to you, you have to keep pace with customer expectations and continue to invest and adapt your offer accordingly.”