Pubs and Bars

Priory Inns North West takes on tenth site

Priory Inns North West announced it has taken on its tenth site, The Big Lock in Middlewich, alongside Star Pubs and Bars

The Warrington-based operator will now undertake a joint £480k refurbishment of the site with the pub company. It marks the third joint investment between both groups. 

The move, which is set to create 16 new jobs, marks part of the group’s strategy to broaden its presence in the North West.

Following the refurbishment, the canal-side pub is set to be turned into a “top-quality modern village pub” with its own standalone café, The Little Lock Coffee Shop, that can be hired for private functions.

The first floor will be renovated to create a “spacious”, open-planned bar and dining area that seats 120 heads. Glazed sliding doors will be fitted in order to provide views of the canal. External redecoration will include new paint and signage, and outside seating for 48 will also be installed. 

The site will be closed for six weeks to allow for the renovation, but will reportedly be open in time for Easter. 

Director Neil Sparkes said: “The Big Lock has a fantastic canal-side setting and so lots of passing trade from walkers to boaters. 

“It just needed some TLC to bring it back on track. The area has also had a lot of new houses built recently so is ripe for the pub and coffee shop that we’ll be opening at Easter.”

Andrew Jamieson, Star Pubs and Bars business development manager, said: “We’re delighted that Neil and his team have taken on The Big Lock. 

“Our last project together was The Gardeners, Timperley which Neil and his team have given a new lease of life, trading up 400% since it reopened. With their vision and high levels of service, they’ll transform the fortunes of The Big Lock too.”

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