THE Halfway House on Otley Road, Baildon, has been sold to pub operators Greene King by Chameleon Bar & Dining.

The pub closed on Sunday and the deal was completed on Monday when all the staff transferred to national chain Greene King.

After almost 18 years of trading, Chameleon Bar & Dining shareholders decided that they wanted to sell their three remaining pubs - two in Lancaster as well as the Halfway House - and instructed Christies to market them.

Alistair Arkley, who has been a shareholder and chairman of the company since it was founded by Phil Strong in 2000, said: "Phil decided to retire a couple of years ago and my colleague Barry Whitehead and I feel that we have reached the stage where we would rather spend the time with our growing number of grandchildren and the time is right to sell the business”.

A message on the pub's website says Greene King "will be looking to invest considerably and rebrand the pub to take it to greater heights".

It adds that bookings made after January 7 can no longer be honoured but any function booked after June 21 will be honoured by the new owners. For any function before this time, the wedding and events manager would be in touch.

If anyone has an unredeemed Chameleon gift voucher, they will be honoured at the Old Hall in Haworth against food, drink or accommodation until February 25.

Mr Arkley added: "The Keys at Slyne, Lancaster, the Greaves in Lancaster and the Halfway House in Baildon near Leeds have traded well over the years and we are pleased that the new owner will invest in the outlets securing their future for years to come with the skills and resources of a large operator.

"Marc Craddock, who has been managing the business since Phil retired and has been heavily involved in the sale process, will be leaving us after all the arrangements are complete and we would like to thank Marc and wish him every success going forward.

"Most importantly we would like to thank all of the staff some of whom have worked with us for many years and wish them all the best for their future.”