"The benefit of having two busy managed pubs is that an area that had not had any nightlife for years is now developing into a place to go out."
My little enclave in East Sussex has gone from being a town with zero managed pubs to having two in under a year.
It started with the arrival of JD Wetherspoons in January. They spent around £1m turning a derelict site (that had once been the prime Saturday night pub) into a busy focal point once more.
And now Stonegate, the managed operator that seems to keep buying new sites (it snapped up most of TCG last week) has also moved into Crowborough with the re-opening of my local.
When I think of Stonegate I normally have visions of Slug & Lettuces, Yates's and the Scream bar I spent far too much time and too high a percentage of my loan in as a student (though it was owned by M&B then.)
So it is not really a company I would necessarily associate with a town mainly filled with young families and older folk.
This is where its less brand-led concepts come in, such as Local Pubs, Traditional Pubs and Classic Inns – the division that includes the slightly newly-named White Hart on The Green (it was just the plain old White Hart before.)
I went to the opening, as it appeared did half of the town, delighted to have its pub back after being closed for months and threatened with that hellish fate of becoming a supermarket or fast food restaurant.
Nobody (well nobody I spoke too) wanted another Tesco, Morrison's or a Drive-Thru McDonald's, so the pub's new lease of life has been warmly welcomed.
Now, as the editor of a magazine that primarily focuses on the freetrade market I could be forgiven for being a little disappointed that the pub, just like the Spoons up the road, will not be independently run.
Instead of a local entrepreneur providing food and drink for people in their community we will have a pub with an offer strongly influenced by a head office team in Luton.
But such is life. It had failed before as a leased pub, struggling for years to find an identity or a business plan that worked for the licensee or the public.
It had been closed for months so there had been an opportunity for operators in the area to get in there first if they wanted to.
Ultimately Stonegate were the ones willing to find the £500,000 or so required to breathe new life into a pub that could have been lost forever.
They have provided around 30 jobs in the town and created a family-friendly pub that has been busy since it opened. And if I have a choice between a managed pub with a future or no pub at all, I know which one I will go for every time.
The benefit of having two busy managed pubs is that an area that had not had any nightlife for years is now developing into a place to go out.
With more people in these two places there is opportunity for other operators to create alternative choices and something of a scene in the area.
It may be that the arrival of the big boys could actually create an opportunity for smaller operators to cash in on the reignited night time economy in the town.