LANDLORDS have vowed they are  "here to stay" after they signed a five-year lease for a well-known city pub following rumours of their departure.

Customers at The Oak Apple in Spetchley Road have raised a glass after it was revealed that the pub's landlords had signed a five-year lease.

Rumours had begun to circulate that landlords Gavin Casey and Michael Oseland would step away from the watering hole to work full-time at another pub they own in Bromsgrove called Ye Olde Black Cross.

However, the couple put these rumours to bed and said they have many exciting plans for both their public houses.

"With respect to keeping the reputation and customers happy, we understand that people don't like change, and the customers have seen a lot of change in the pub over the past five or six years," said Mr Casey.

"There is stability, and nothing is worse than managers coming in and out of a place, and the pub then goes (bad).

"The last thing they want is for us to leave and run another pub, and they were concerned over what would happen to this one.

"They love their local pub."

Mr Oselands added that in one instance, a customer was in tears over the rumour that the two would be leaving the pub.

The pair took over The Oak Apple six months ago and, during this time, had been working on building its Marston's reputation.

The chain rates its pub's popularity on an app called Reputation, and before the two took over the city chain, it was rated last among the chain's eateries for Worcestershire.

Now, the pub has climbed to fifth. 

"I am not going to lie, it has been very hard work and testing times, but the achievement is amazing," Mr Casey added.

"On a weekend, this pub is now rammed, and it is amazing to see. 

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"We have been trying to fight for different things, like a darts and pool team, to make it more of a community pub."

The two revealed they have exciting plans for the pub's future. Throughout the Euros, the pub will have a 'Pepsi Fan Zone' in its garden, a designated area by Pepsi with a bar and games.

It is also running a competition with schoolchildren where pupils design a new look for their garden.

The winner will receive four Alton Towers tickets and have a plaque in the new garden once it's done.