Britain’s youngest pub landlord who took over a County Durham village pub which he began working at when he was just 14 years old has said the experience has been “extremely rewarding”.

Louis Jerrom, 22, acquired The Cross Keys in Gainford in September last year after hearing that his employers were moving on.

Having recently graduated university and looking for a new challenge, Louis acquired the contract, completed renovation work and is now Britain’s youngest landlord.

Now six months into the job, Louis has said the process has been stressful but rewarding as he also navigates being a young pub landlord.

Louis said: “The hardest thing about being a boss is having to keep staff in check and make sure they live up to my standards, considering I worked alongside most of the staff in the years prior, when we were coworkers.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Louis Jerrom, landlord of The Cross Keys in Gainford.

“I understand striking the balance between employer and friend is important in most team-orientated businesses, so I’m continuing to work hard at setting boundaries, carrying out tasks and having fun throughout.”

On misconceptions about being a young landlord, Louis said: “The most common misconception is that I do nothing. I only work 2/3 shifts a week behind the bar, so some people assume I’m not working.

“Simply being a presence is work as a landlord. There are things I wouldn’t want a customer to see, so most of my work is making sure their experience stays consistently relaxing and fun.”

“Although, because I choose to work mostly outside of opening hours, many assume I do not work at all. I’m sure anybody in the pub trade knows just how much there is to do.”

As a young landlord, Louis says has learnt that oftentimes, although it can be hard to face, it is not weak to ask for help.

He said: “Don’t let pride stop you from accepting help from the people around you. I firmly believe that my thriving depends fully upon the people around me who offer me advice, favours, and knowledge.”

“Being a young business owner often comes with a feeling of having to prove yourself. You’ll get much farther by realising you don’t know it all and by listening to the people who want to see you succeed.”

As he continues to stand at the helm of The Cross Keys, Louis so far believes the pub has became a hub for the community.

He said: “I believe I’ve made the pub a place for each member of the local community. Each room in the pub is differently themed. This is intentional.

“The pub is now the hub of the village where all feel welcome. I hope all members of Gainford and the surrounding areas feel a warm welcome when they are drinking here.”

Louis now intends to run the pub for a few more years, saving money to eventually apply for a PhD in Philosophy at Durham University.