Landlord Chris Thompson gets go-ahead to expand The George Hotel, Cullingworth (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Landlord Chris Thompson gets go-ahead to expand The George Hotel, Cullingworth
6:00am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A village pub that has gone from strength to strength since re-opening has been given permission to expand.
The George Hotel on Station Road, Cullingworth, has got so busy since re-opening in 2011 that staff regularly have to turn customers away on weekends.
Now its owners have been given permission to create a new garden room at the rear of the pub and convert the upstairs into five hotel rooms.
Landlord Chris Thompson hopes the first stage of the work is complete in time for July, when thousands of people will descend on the area for the Tour De France.
Just a few years ago the future of the 19th Century pub looked bleak, as it lay empty. But Cullingworth resident and owner of Old Spot Brewery Mr Thompson took over with his partner Joanne Storton in the hope of returning it to an important community hub.
He described the business he took over as a “sad boarded-up old pub” that had been a victim of large “pubco” chains.
The couple believe their success shows that despite pub closures becoming a regular thing in rural communities, the market is still there.
Standing in a conservation area, the building has been identified by Bradford Council as a key building in the village. But planning officers felt the expansion would not harm the appearance of the building. The extension will expand the pub into the existing car park.
Mr Thompson said: “We’ve been so busy we need the space. At weekends we’re having to turn people away. We need village pubs and that’s what this is. There are so many people you never see in the village that come in. They must hear of us through word of mouth. It has blown us away, it really exceeded our expectations.
“The upstairs were just wasted rooms. We were paying rates for empty rooms at the same time we had people calling asking for rooms.”
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