AN historic Durham city centre pub has been sold in a seven-figure deal.

The Court Inn, at Court Lane, next to Durham Crown Court, has bought as part of an investment by local property entrepreneur Imad Ali. He holds investments in retail, leisure and real estate, and is expanding his leisure and retail operations regionally.

The transaction, facilitated by Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, has been hailed as providing locals with further confidence in the local hospitality sector.

Imad Ali, director of SSA Global Group, said: “The Court Inn is an outstanding opportunity for us to invest in an such an iconic, local establishment with a great client base and stunning views of Durham Cathedral.

“The Court Inn will remain open, but we have plans to develop the asset and ensure it is modern and efficient.

“Our vision is to create an exciting, dynamic and stylish late bar and restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere.

"We are planning on acquiring further sites in the next year all around the North-East, with the help of Bradley Hall.”

Peter Bartley, group director at Bradley Hall said: “This is a fantastic indicator of market activity and although we have managed a variety of commercial property transactions recently, this is a great step for this specific industry."