A historic Bingley pub re-opens tomorrow in the safe hands of a former Home Office security and counter terrorism advisor.
Roy Davison, who helped draw up security plans for the Olympics, has just taken on a 20-year lease of the town’s 16th century coaching inn – The White Horse.
Mr Davison, 31, and his partner Matt Halliday, who will co-run the lease, also have a lease of The Fisherman’s Inn in Wagon Lane with pub chain company Enterprise Inns.
The pub in cobbled Old Market Street has been shut for three months for a £100,000 make-over, said Mr Davison whose roots are in Saltaire and says running a pub was always his dream job.
Mr Halliday, who has also just given up a top job as chief executive of a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans-Gender) charity London Friend, will join him soon and has links to the area too because he comes from Keighley .
Mr Davison said The White Horse was in “a bit of a sorry state” before he took it over but now it was up to modern standards while keeping its listed building charm. The building is believed to have been founded by the Knights Templar in the 1700s.
He said: “It’s definitely not going to be yet another olde worlde pub doing a carvery.
“There’s going to be pizzas and tapas made right here.
“It’s going to be like a city bar which means people won’t have to leave Bingley to get what they can only find in Leeds.
“Stay here and they won’t have to catch the last train home. We’re going to help keep business on the doorstep.”
The pub has been painted in heritage colours, the flag-stone flooring has been acid cleaned and the old beams brought back to their original colour but furniture wise it will be “a bit retro, a bit chic” said Mr Davison. He said: “We’re very excited about the grand-opening. We’re making the most of social media and have invited all our friends on Twitter and Facebook.”
The pub opens to the public on Friday after tomorrow night’s opening by Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe and Bradford restaurant boss Omar Khan, who recently saved Bradford Bulls.