That’s according to Colliers International hotels director Peter Brunt, who said the fast-recovering  sector  was now being seen as  prime investment territory.

He said:   “Even previously hard to shift premises outside the top locations are attracting increased attention from commercial property investors.

“Operators across the West Country are telling us that revenues are finally showing some real growth. Buyers need to recognise that values are likely to rise with them so now is the time to step in. 

“There are also signs of City money returning to the market with funds being put together to buy pubs. 

“Although this trend is presently confined to prime areas in the south and south east  the growing shortage of available property in those areas is bound to force investors to look at opportunities further afield as they struggle to hit acquisition targets.” 

He went on: “Private buyers too are focussed on those prime areas but will also find the need to look further afield as supply of the best quality property is very limited.

“A good example is The Talbot Inn at Newnham Bridge. Although it’s a little off the beaten track  it’s got everything else going for it -  good looking, accessible, very well presented and profit making. 

“Being west of the M5 takes it lies outside many buyers’ target area but I am seeing growing interest despite that.”

Peter’s comments follow an equally upbeat report   on the UK’s pub and restaurant industry from Deutsche Bank, which said pub groups are emerging from the downturn in much better shape than they have been for the past three decades.

Peter, who  sold more than two dozen pubs and hotels across the region despite the downturn, said: “The West Country proved highly resilient to the  downturn and we are expecting the sector to fly as the recovery gathers pace.

“We are  experiencing very strong demand across the region and there   are plenty of buyers out there ready to have a crack at the right pub in the right location. Closed and struggling pubs will continue to be snapped up by new buyers ready to take a new look at tired old pubs in secondary locations.”