A PRIVATE school has been given the keys to an empty town pub.
Ruthin School officially own Ye Olde Anchor on Rhos Street in Ruthin which suddenly closed over night last November.
The school has also received planning permission from Denbighshire County Council to turn the 18th Century building into a boarding house for students.
Principal Toby Belfield said: “It takes time to buy things but today (Friday, August 30) we completed it and I’m on the way to collect the keys now.
“Planning permission for change of use has been granted as well which is great.
“It’s great for the town as it currently looks awful.
“It will take time but we’ll get the builders in there soon to make it nice.”
Once transformed the pub will have 25 bedrooms to accommodate upper sixth students who will be studying for their final A-level exams before heading to university.
The Anchor, built around 1742, was formally operated by Stephanie Booth of Llangollen Hotels Group, which went into administration in 2011.
Ruthin School’s move to buy the building comes after the Free Press reported last year the school had transformed itself from being on the brink of financial ruin becoming a profitable business in just three years.
Between 2007 and 2009, the school was deep in the red, making a loss of over £1 million and was ranked a lowly 453 in the 2007 Independent Schools Council (ICS) league table for A level results.
Last October, Mr Belfield revealed to the Free Press he was forecasting a profit of £800,000 for the year 2012/13.
Powell Williams based in Chester will be designing the exterior and interior of the building.
Mr Belfield: “We want to expand as a school, we are full of boarders and now we’ve appointed another brilliant teacher from Howell’s School.
“It is so great that compared to where Ruthin School was five years ago, it’s so different.
“I am so pleased we did not get any objections for the plans, it shows the community must be in support of the school.”
The building will be highly refurbished and a member of staff will also be living there with the students.
Mr Belfield said it will be quieter as a boarding house that it was as a pub.
More staff and cooks will be hired to help run the new house and Mr Belfield believes it will help the town with students and staff spending their money within the town.
The boarding house will be open in September 2014.
The Anchor, which was on the market through Colliers International was asking for £299,000.
The sale marks the final exit from the hotel trade for entrepreneur Stephanie Booth.
Ms Booth said: “I’m pleased that Ye Olde Anchor has found such a worthy new lease of life. This leaves me free to concentrate on our four large international businesses and Yattar Yattar magazine.”