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'He has seized his second chance' - Former convict to run iconic Yarmouth pub

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:00 11 July 2019

Blendi Kellici, 30, new landlord of Peggotty's, a popular pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Blendi Kellici, 30, new landlord of Peggotty's, a popular pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Archant

A man previously jailed for his part in a London drugs ring will run a popular Norfolk nightspot after being handed a second chance.

Peggotty's in King Street, Great Yarmouth, is reopening under new management. Picture: Liz CoatesPeggotty's in King Street, Great Yarmouth, is reopening under new management. Picture: Liz Coates

Blendi Kellici, 30, will manage Peggotty's pub in Great Yarmouth.

He was appointed by Davina Tanner OBE, the venue's operator and CEO of Britannia Enterprises, a social enterprise aiming to help ex-offenders find work.

Mr Kellici said: "It's a famous place in Yarmouth, it's got potential.

"I'm looking forward to it," he added.

In 2015, he was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a gang that supplied drugs in the capital.

He served time at HMP Norwich and after release worked in the city at Cafe Britannia, which is run by Britannia Enterprises.

Ms Tanner said: "By his own admission, working with Britannia Enterprises has changed his life.

"Since his release from prison he has successfully gained and held down employment - helping to provide for his young son."

Ms Tanner said the new landlord had not re-offended.

"He has not claimed benefits and he has spent the last four years paying tax," she added.

"In fact Blendi has proved to be a hardworking and trustworthy employee who has seized his second chance with both hands and who responded brilliantly to the opportunity to turn his life around."

In February the Ei Group, a national pub company which owns the premises, announced it was looking for a new people to relaunch the venue.

Mr Kellici said he plans to revitalise the pub.

One idea is a street food van sitting at the back of the dancefloor.

Staff will wear clothes similar to those worn on the TV show 'Peaky Blinders'.

Originally from Albania, Mr Kellici first came to England in 2003.

At the time he was playing underage for his country's national football team, he said.

He hopes to open the bar on Saturday (July 13).

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