A troubled Reading pub has been given a new lease of life thanks to a new landlady and her all-female team. 

The Royal Albion on Oxford Road hit the headlines last year following a drugs raid in March.

It has recently been at risk of closure with its owners Greene King putting the popular venue up for sale.

But the signs have now come down and the pub has been taken off the market as landlady Samantha Lane, who took on the job last November, reflects on one year in post. 

Speaking to the Chronicle, the Whitley-born publican said she was determined to turn the establishment around and open it up to the community.

The 41-year-old told this newspaper said: “Greene King has just informed us that they have decided not to sell because they have seen an upturn in sales since I took over one year ago.

"I am so pleased that I have received confirmation that the pub is no longer for sale and that I’ll be staying here for the duration of my five-year contract and hopefully longer.

READ MORE: White Eagle pub reopens after temporary closure following police investigations 

“I have put so much of myself into this pub over the last year. It was really hard at the beginning. The reputation of the pub has always been negative, and I know how hard that is to turn around but I was determined to try.

Opening up about the challenges she has said, Samantha said: “Within the last year I have got rid of the bad reputation by showing the locals respect and opening the pub up the community.

"By getting rid of the crime that has happened here in the past we have made it a place where people feel safe to come and enjoy a drink with friends.”

Reading Chronicle: The Royal Albion pub in Oxford Road, Reading.The Royal Albion pub in Oxford Road, Reading. (Image: Newsquest)

Samantha has attributed the success of the business to the hard work of her staff and the community who have welcomed her during the last year at The Royal Albion.

The Whitley-born business owner said she knew she could take on this challenge due to her headstrong nature and up-bringing.

She said: “I worked as the landlady for The Queens Head pub and The Pheasant pub before this but when the Royal Albion came up my regional manager at Greene King knew I would be the perfect person to take it on.

“You have to be extremely determined and headstrong to turn around a place like this and I only ask that the local community put some trust in us.

“I’ve brought this traditional pub back to life with a great team behind me. We want the people of Reading to feel that this is a place to come and have fun with friends and family."

The pub now hosts seven pool teams, a darts team, and an open mic night which is popular with locals. 

While Samantha appeared certain of the pub's future, a spokesman for Greene King said they are keeping their options open. 

A Greene King spokesperson said: “We are continuing to review our options for the Royal Albion, and no decision has been made yet. This is to ensure we make the right decision for the future of the pub, whilst keeping in mind the best interests of the community.”