AN historic Ribble Valley pub is set to reopen at the end of the month after a refurbishment costing at least £350,000.
Waddington’s Higher Buck Inn was closed shortly after Christmas, with work on the interior starting five weeks ago after delays hit the project.
The Thwaites-owned pub dates from the 1870s and the new tenant, Michael Heathcote, hopes to have the new-look pub open for business by Monday, April 28.
Up to 20 new full-time and part-time jobs are being created as part of the relaunch and seven new bedrooms have been created.
A new kitchen has been installed, while the downstairs interior has been given a ‘complete makeover’.
Michael, 47, also runs The Duke Of York in Grindleton and the pub’s head chef, Rob Geldeard, 27, will be moving over to Waddington to help to change the pub’s focus onto food.
Michael, who funded the refurbishment alongside Thwaites, said: “It’s an exciting proposition and I’m looking forward to the opening day.
“I have a very good team behind me and I’m sure that they will help me make a success of the pub.
“The new jobs will bring local employment to the area which is no bad thing.”
Rob said: “The pub has been gutted and the interior has been given a complete makeover.
“Delays have hit the project since it closed and that’s why it took a little while longer from when it closed to get the refurbishment work started.
“I’m looking forward to joining the pub and trying to make it a success.”
The Ribble Valley has seen a number of old pubs closed down in recent months.
And historic pub expert Simon Entwistle said: “I think it’s marvellous that the pub is going to reopen and I think that it’s money well spent.
“Waddington, a lot like Whalley, has done very well during the recession and it’s a Ribble Valley gem.
“It brings in a lot of tourists to the area and having the Higher Buck back open will only improve the village.
“It’s great that another historic pub in the borough has been given a new lease of life.”