Whittlesey landmark pub to get £2m revamp

Have your say

WORK to transform a former town hotel in to a new JD Wetherspoon pub will start at the end of the summer.

WORK to transform a former town hotel in to a new JD Wetherspoon pub will start at the end of the summer.About 2 million will be spent by the national pub chain when it renovates The George Hotel, in Whittlesey, to turn it into a welcoming pub and family restaurant.

Today, a spokesman for the company confirmed that the new pub will revert to its original name – The George and Star.

Building work should start in mid-September, and an estimated 45 full and part-time jobs will be created when it opens next February.

The pub will open at 9am each day, closing at midnight from Sunday to Thursday, and 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.

It will complement the two existing JD Wetherspoon pubs in Peterborough, The Drapers Arms and The College Arms, which both continue to enjoy success, according to the company.

The spokesman added: "We will work within the constraints of the listed building and we are happy to do this.

"The two Wetherspoon pubs in the Peterborough area have been successful and we want to add more. The Whittlesey site is in a great location and it's a good looking building."

The hotel, in the town's Market Place, dates back to the early 18th century. It closed four years ago and the building became a magnet for vandals.

It reopened two years later when Bristol-based firm Landmark jumped at the chance to get the beer flowing through the pumps again.

Then JD Wetherspoon approached to buy them out last year, and a change of hands was agreed.

Fenland District Council has now granted permission for renovation work to start in the autumn.

Architect Malcolm Flegg, from TFT Consultants, said: "We will be building an extension at the back to create more space for customers. There will be a beer garden at the back.

"We have been working with JD Wetherspoon projects for 18 years now, and are looking forward to the Whittlesey project."

The extended licensing hours, especially at the weekend, means JD Wetherspoon will work closely with Whittlesey police to make sure social disturbance is kept to a minimum.

The George and Star will also be in a prime location for the ever-popular Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival, which takes place each January.

There are about 700 JD Wetherspoon pubs in the country, and 10 per cent of these are in listed buildings.

Pubs in the chain generally do not play background music, and usually do not have televisions.