Plans on table to bring one of Lancaster's best-loved pubs back to life

Plans to revive one of Lancaster’s best-loved pubs have been submitted to the city council.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:58 pm
The Ring o' Bells in Lancaster.
The Ring o' Bells in Lancaster.

Proposals for the Ring o’ Bells on King Street in the city centre include retaining the pub at ground floor level with the introduction of visitor accommodation on the floors above.

The scheme is the brainchild of Tom and Philippa Charrier of FAT Properties Ltd, who already own a number of properties in the town.

Now they’re hoping the city council will agree to their latest vision for one of the town’s landmark buildings.

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Plans for the Ring o' Bells include a larger beer garden.

Tom said: “The Ring o’ Bells has been part of the Lancaster scene for many years and it’s a well-loved part of the city centre.

“It’s a listed building because it’s old, characterful and very beautiful, but lately time hasn’t been kind to it."

"The pub business has been struggling, and the floors above are now in disrepair, mainly due to water coming in and structural instability.

“We couldn’t bear to see an amazing building such as this become derelict. We have an exciting vision for it which will secure its future in Lancaster for years to come and bring enormous benefits for the town.”

Under the planning application, the ground floor pub use would be retained, with improvements to accessibility for disabled people and a larger beer garden. A two-bed garden holiday apartment is proposed for the rear of the garden area.

Eight en-suite bedrooms for visitors to the city would be created on the first and second floors, with communal kitchen, dining and living space in what is currently the attic. The emphasis of the interior design would be natural light, natural materials and plants.

Tom added: “The face of visitor accommodation is changing and there is a demand for flexible, short-term, serviced accommodation for both tourists and visitors to the city such as doctors, business people and university lecturers.

“We regularly receive enquiries from all these types of visitors, and national data shows an increasing demand for independent serviced visitor accommodation beyond the typical national hotel chains.

“However, because we are living in an uncertain world of swiftly changing needs, we are making our plans flexible so that if demand for short-stay visitor rooms drops, we can use the accommodation for co-living, which would appeal to young professionals, post-graduate students and many others.

“The plan has so many benefits for the city, in terms of employment creation, increased visitor numbers and spending, and above all giving a fantastic future role to the Ring o’ Bells."

The project is part of a wider mission by FAT Properties to improve peoples lives through better designed buildings both in their business and through a new non-profit they’ve founded, the Wellbeing Design Alliance.

Philippa said: “The buildings we spend time in have such an important influence on how we feel, and our overall sense of wellbeing. Ensuring buildings are designed to optimise peoples wellbeing is rightly becoming a national imperative.”