9:05am Monday 12th May 2014
By Katie Smith
The Riverside Inn in Bradford on Avon is set for a £1.5m refurbishment and name change after being bought by the Draco Pub Company.
The building has been empty for a year until the company recently bought it after looking for freehold pubs in need of TLC .
Bradford on Avon Town Council has approved the plans and the company – part of Draco Group, whose portfolio includes Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s’ River Cottage – is awaiting approval from Wiltshire Council.
The inn will be renamed Timbrell’s Yard, after the Draco discovered the painting with the same name by Samuel Spode depicting the car park area beside the pub, and the recently refurbished St Margaret’s Hall.
Once the plans have been accepted it is hoped the £1.5m project will be completed by the end of this year or early next year.
Rob Greacen, managing director of Draco Group, said: “We are really looking forward to restoring Timbrell’s Yard and making it a busy, happy and warm inn. We have been delighted by how friendly and helpful everyone has been.
“Bradford on Avon is a very special place and I hope we can make a positive contribution with our hospitality.”
The inn will have 14 en suite bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and function room.
The kitchen will be run by Tom Blake, who was at River Cottage.
Over the years the building has been used as a house, a club and briefly a library, but only became a pub in the 1980s.
It is looking to reinstate the period features in the building, although the games room will be demolished to create a courtyard.
This will be the third and largest project for the company which has restored two Somerset pubs.
Caroline Philpott, president of Bradford on Avon Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is absolutely brilliant and the plans are superb.
"The chamber welcomes that sort of investment in the town. I hope Wiltshire Council pass it and things move forward as quickly as possible.
“It is a great location on the river and an ideal location for a restaurant. The area needs tidying up because of the amount of people that use the river path.”
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