AT A TIME when headlines are dominated by pub closures, it is refreshing to hear of pub companies expanding.

As well as the micro-pub surge, many new establishments are being opened by chains in premises you might never consider suitable as a pub.

Closures may be running at 18 a day according to the latest Camra statistics but Bradford has seen several new outlets open in the past few years in unconventional locations.

NEW ARRIVAL: Bar opens in former shop

Now Amber Taverns is the latest to transform a shop into a pub, helping with the renaissance of Ivegate at the same time.

Who would have thought a Poundworld could get a makeover but, as of the beginning of March, it will become The Drum Winder.

General manager Phil Barkley said the premises used to a pub with a balcony called Mash so in fact the building is reverting to its former use.

He said: "There are a couple of new bars on Ivegate and we will complement that.

"We will have a quality, friendly atmosphere.

"We're aiming to tap into the positivity.

"The Council is making an effort on Ivegate."

He said the pub will have a soft opening and will welcome people in on Saturday, March 2, the day of the Ivegate Gala.

He said the new pub will feature a bar constructed from new with cocktail stations built-in. The cellar has been refurbished and Mr Barkley says it will be "a really modern place".

Named after former workers in the city's textile industry, the pub will show all live sport and serve a wide range of drinks.

In the evening the focus will change on to the cocktails and gins.

Amber Taverns has 120 public houses across the North West, North East, Midlands and Wales, including the Library Tap in Bingley. It says these are mainly community locals in busy towns as well as some city centre venues.

The Drum Winder will be the company's first outlet in Bradford.

It is still recruiting and will employ 15 staff, particularly local students. Mr Barkley said the company is looking for people who could be trained to be general managers, the route the Middlesbrough man himself took.

He said: "I started as a DJ and have been through the training route. This is an opportunity for a city centre living for me."

The Drum Winder may be in a former Poundworld but unfortunately the pricing regime has been given the boot as well as the old fixtures and fittings!