THE operators of an award-winning Dunfermline town-centre pub have said that it will re-open.

Hawthorn Leisure have confirmed that the Commercial Inn, on Douglas Street, will be closed "for a short period" while it recruits a new partner, but say they have "no plans to close" the popular bar.

Customers of the pub, a five-time CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) Fife Pub of the Year winner, were left shocked when a notice was placed on its doors advising that it had closed "due to unforeseen circumstances".

The note attached to the premises read: ""Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the pub will be closed today".

The business has remained closed since but, this morning, its operators have contacted the Press to "reassure" customers that what they have described as "an important institution" in Dunfermline has a future.

A spokesperson for Hawthorn Leisure, which operates more than 600 pubs across the UK, said: "We’d like to reassure customers that we have no plans to close down The Commercial.

"We want all our pubs to be a thriving part of the community, and the Commercial is a great traditional pub and an important institution in Dunfermline.

"The pub will be closed for a short period while we recruit a new partner, but locals can rest assured that we will not be moving away from what made the pub popular in the first place.

"In fact, once we have invested in the pub to give it a much needed refurbishment, we’re confident The Commercial will be better than ever."

A popular haunt for fans of real ale, its reputation as one of the Kingdom's best pubs for pouring the perfect pint has been enhanced with award successes on no less than five separate occasions.

In 1998, the Commercial was named as the CAMRA (The Campaign For Real Ale) Fife Pub of the Year, and went on to be presented with the accolade again in 2005, 2006, 2008 and, most recently, in 2014.

Following the latter win, the pub was also feted as one the county's best later that year, when it was named as runner-up in the CAMRA Scottish Pub of the Year, placing second only to The Steam Packet Inn, at Isle of Whithorn, in Dumfries and Galloway.