The owners of a new pub in the centre of a Country Durham town says it wants to make the venue the modern centre of village life.

The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield is set to open its doors on The Square in the centre of town later this month, following a major £750,000 investment on the former Crosshills Hotel site. They are now recruiting for up to 25 full and part time roles across front of house and senior back office positions.

The new owners say its intentions will be to add a venue that acts as a focal point to town life. Newly-installed general manager, Sabina Poonwassie, said: “We’re so thrilled to be opening in a town like Sedgefield that has such a strong sense of identity and community. We want to do our bit to help cement that. We want to be members that add a positive dimension to life in Sedgefield. We want to be so much more than just a great place to catch up with family and friends.”

The Pickled Parson says it has already spoken to a number of people in the town about facilitating and assisting with modern issues like taking in parcel deliveries while people are at work or hosting community group meetings.

The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield, which is set to develop a relaxed food offering from breakfasts, coffees and cake through to late meals, will also convert additional space in the venue into bedrooms for overnight stays and weekend breaks.

Owners say they also want to develop a varied programme of family friendly events. Sabina, who lives in Barnard Castle and arrives at The Pickled Parson with more than seven years experience in hospitality management roles, added: “We have a wonderful village green outside our front door and we want to be able to host fun, inclusive community events and other family-friendly get-togethers on that space. This will only happen with the support of people in the town, so we’re open to ideas on what the people of Sedgefield want to see from The Pickled Parson.”

The owners have borrowed the quirky name from late 18th Century folklore. The Parson, known to be a wealthy man through the tithes collected from villagers at the time, died just days before the annual collection was due. Fearing she would miss out on the cash, his wife was rumoured to have preserved his body in salt, propping him at the kitchen table. Villagers arriving to pay their taxes simply looked through the window of the rectory to see the clergyman ‘sitting’ at his usual chair, and duly paid their tithes to his wife.

The owners of the pub are also the same group behind The Fox Hole, a successful restaurant and pub in Piercebridge near Darlington, which opened in 2014. The group also operates the Lane7 boutique bowling alley in central Newcastle and have just announced plans to extend Lane7 with new openings in Middlesbrough and Aberdeen before the end of the year.

Anyone wishing to apply for roles at The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield should email PPOSrecruitment@gmail.com