PLANS to invest £500,000 into one of the region’s much-loved pubs have begun.
The Lambton Worm, in Chester-le-Street, has been bought by one of the region’s leading leisure firms.
The boozer has been closed for several month and now Tavistock Leisure has unveiled plans to bring the building back to life.
It will be transformed into a brewpub, focussing on cask ales, as well as a restaurant serving classical British dishes with a modern twist.
Tavistock director Jonathan Graham said: “The Lambton Worm is an iconic venue in the North East and one which will undoubtedly prove a valuable addition to our growing portfolio.”
The building, in North Road, will remain closed while refurbishment begins, but Mr Graham said doors were expected to re-open in early 2013.
Associate director and pubs negotiator Mark Worley, who handled the sale of property, said: “Tavistock’s intention to invest heavily in the presentation of the site and to reopen the Lambton Worm as a quality food-led pub is a great example of a struggling licensed operation being purchased with a view to ongoing use and is very encouraging news for the licensed sector and pub industry.”
He added the large detached venue, which occupies almost half an acre of land close to the main road linking Chester-le-Street and Birtley, was still in reasonable condition inside.