Liverpool Echo

As pubs close across the country - this Merseyside boozer is set to REOPEN

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 17/05/2018 18:39:57 Tom Houghton

An iconic Wirral pub that was at the centre of its community for over a century could soon reopen.

Plans have been submitted to Wirral council for The Old Colonial in Birkenhead to reopen following its closure almost a decade ago.

According to the new owners, the community is "fully supportive" of the proposals to restore the building, currently offices opposite the Wirral Transport Museum, back to its former glory.

Geoff Bryson, director of Bryson Architecture - the agent involved in the plans - described the news as "exciting", given the fact that so many pubs across the country are closing down or being converted into flats.

He said: "The reopening of this iconic venue will provide a hub for entertainment as well as providing refreshments for visitors to the adjacent Wirral Transport Museum and local businesses.

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"Feedback from the local community is fully supportive of the proposal to reopen The Old Colonial therefore providing a location for relaxation during and after the working day.

"This project provides an exciting opportunity to revert a historic public house back to the use it has had for over a century."

a sign on the side of a building © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

The news comes almost a decade after the pub was closed and turned into office accommodation in 2009.

Located opposite the Wirral Transport Museum and straddling the iconic old tramway, the Bridge Street pub is believed to have opened in the 19th Century.

It is also believed to have been used as a "halfway house" stop-off point for travellers from Chester to Liverpool prior to boarding the ferry.

It is hoped The Old Colonial will give a new choice to people from local businesses, the nearby college and museum visitors, as well as residents.

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It will have 20 parking spaces and a garden, with part of the building to remain offices run by Thextons. Drinks and food will be served on both the ground floor and basement, which is being restored.

Mr Bryson added: "The design incorporates many of the original features of the existing public house which have been uncovered within the lower ground floor of the building.

"The owners were also inspired by the handcrafted artwork to the trams of the transport museum and have commissioned a local artist to recreate similar text within the venue's signage.

"With the revitalisation of this area of Birkenhead taking shape it is an amazing opportunity to re-establish one of the town's traditional public houses."

Officials at the transport museum are also in favour of the proposals.

a building that has a sign on the side of a road © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

In a letter written in support of the application, Robert Jones, company secretary of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society, said: "We welcome the idea of a restaurant and bar right adjacent to our museum, this will create a synergy and be a welcome compliment for what we offer.

"We sincerely wish to work with the new owners of the former Old Colonial Pub and believe we will help the local economy and mutually boost each other's footfall."

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The application said the previous use of the building as a pub was affected by the "previous lack of investment in the immediate area".

But developments such as ongoing works at the transport museum and the wider regeneration of Birkenhead have given cause for optimism."

It added: "With new business and commercial property being built and proposed in the future within the area a proposal such as this should, in our opinion, be approved to provide a diverse range of facilities for the increasing business, public and education users."

17. toukokuuta 2018 21:39:57 Categories: Liverpool Echo

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