£2m refurbishment work continues at Heysham pub

Carolyn Matthews of Thwaites and new Royal manager Paul Turner at the site.
Carolyn Matthews of Thwaites and new Royal manager Paul Turner at the site.

Work is well under way at a Heysham pub as it undergoes a £2m refurbishment and extension.

The Royal Hotel in Heysham village will include new accommodation and the conversion of Listed outbuildings.

Renovation work taking place at the Royal Hotel in Heysham village.

Renovation work taking place at the Royal Hotel in Heysham village.

The pub’s owner Daniel Thwaites PLC is investing millions into the pub, introducing 11 ensuite bedrooms and transforming the bar, dining and outdoor areas.

There will be between 40-50 members of staff working at the Royal and Thwaites are currently recruiting for a range of positions.

“Work is progressing well - I was up for a site meeting and you can see it all starting to take shape,” said Paul Turner, the newly appointed general manager at The Royal.

“I’m really excited about my new role and I’m looking forward to meeting the locals and customers.”

Paul has worked for Thwaites as an area business manager for eight years, looking after the company’s tenanted pubs.

But he is no stranger to managing a pub himself, as he previously worked for Scottish and Newcastle running pubs with bedrooms and four-star hotels.

“There’s something about running a pub that you just can’t replicate in any other role and I’m looking forward to doing that again,” said Paul.

“The Royal is a fantastic pub with a lot of potential and it’s going to be great to put it back into the heart of the community.”

The pub, in Main Street, dates back to the 18th century and is listed as an Asset of Community Value.

The building dates back to 1502 and has been used as a hostelry since 1730 but recently only around 25 per cent of the space was being used.

Thwaites said they were keen to bring the derelict parts of the property back into use and are carefully renovating two cottages, an old barn and an empty shop unit.
“There’s a lot of heritage attached to the property which we are very keen to maintain, so we’re trying to keep or restore as many original features as we can,” said Andrew Buchanan, director of pubs and brewing at Thwaites.

“It’s a substantial project for us as we’ve clearly had to be very careful with the building work and put a sensitive design plan in place.

“We found a picture from 1889 and that has helped inspire the look. We’re delighted with how our designer has managed to bring together the building’s historic roots while creating a very welcoming look and feel.

“It’s coming together really well and we’re looking forward to re-opening.”

Thwaites are keen to create a “community pub” with letting bedrooms and more space inside for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The pub is set to re-open this April but opening will depend on the timing and planning of the building work schedule.