A POPULAR Keighley-district pub is welcoming new faces at the helm.

Mark Kelly next week takes over as tenant at the Grouse Inn, Oldfield – a Timothy Taylor pub.

And Mr Kelly, of the Bridgehouse Pub Company, brings with him an experienced team.

Agi Chelbowska-Phillips will be the new general manager.

Also, Rachel Whipp – who spent many years working at The Grouse – is returning as operations manager with the Bridgehouse Pub Company.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to carry on the amazing work of the previous tenants and we relish the opportunity to work with Timothy Taylor's," said Mr Kelly, who owns Keighley-based Bridgehouse Brewery and already oversees multiple sites within its own estate of managed pubs.

The new team takes over at The Grouse from long-serving tenants Mark Narey and Karl Rowlett.

They have run the hostelry for two decades.

"We thank both Mark and Karl for their many years with us – transforming the pub into the destination it is now – and we wish them all the very best for the future," said Paul Turner, estate operations director at Timothy Taylor.

"They have built a very successful business with their high standards of service and food and in turn developed a loyal following of both visitors and locals.

"We know we will be staying in touch with them – and they’ll always remain part of the Taylor’s family."

Welcoming the new team, he said: "I am delighted to have Mark and the Bridgehouse Pub Company on board.

"They bring with them a wealth of experience and of course a real passion for beer, meaning customers can look forward to perfect pints of our award-winning ales.

"I look forward to seeing The Grouse continue to thrive in the coming months under the new leadership."

The Grouse Inn's roots as a tavern date back at least as far as 1852.

It was located on an ancient packhorse route and farmers would supplement their income by brewing ale from some of their produce, and selling it to passing travellers.

The pub has also become a popular stop-off point for Bronte enthusiasts – it has views across Top Withens, the ruined farmhouse that reputedly inspired the setting for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

Timothy Taylor, established in 1858, is one of the UK’s oldest family-owned breweries. And its Landlord ale has won more awards than any other beer.