Regeneration of popular Lancaster city centre pub gets green light

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One of Lancaster’s oldest and best-loved pubs is to be brought back into use.

Lancaster City Council has given the go-ahead for proposals to regenerate the Ring o’ Bells on King Street in the city centre.

The plans will keep the building as a pub at ground floor including its much-loved beer garden, and introduce visitor accommodation in the form of five apartments on the floors above and one garden apartment.

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The frontage of the pub will be cleaned and repaired as well.

The Ring o'Bells in Lancaster is to undergo a refurb.The Ring o'Bells in Lancaster is to undergo a refurb.
The Ring o'Bells in Lancaster is to undergo a refurb.

The Ring o’ Bells is Grade II* listed and dates back to the mid-18th century, but recently the fabric of the building has been deteriorating.

Tom and Philippa Charrier of FAT Properties Ltd, who already have a number of properties in the town, bought the pub in December 2020 and are delighted that their scheme to restore it has finally been approved.

Tom said: “This is great news both for the building and the city centre as a whole. The Ring o’ Bells is a characterful and well-loved pub with a long history, and we are pleased and privileged that we can play a part in ensuring its future.

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“We could not stand by and let this old, beautiful pub become derelict – the upper floors were in disrepair, water was coming in and walls were starting to lean, and of course the pandemic just made it harder for pubs to be viable.”

Under the proposals, the ground floor pub use will 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.

Four visitor accommodation apartments will be provided on the first and second floors, with a fifth in the attic space.

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Tom added: “We knew that this would need to be an imaginative scheme with a new business element to support the restoration and allow us to keep the pub going. There is definitely a demand for the kind of visitor accommodation that will be on offer at the Ring o’ Bells and it will ensure the building’s future for years to come.

“We can now turn the fortunes of the Ring o’ Bells around and give it the improvements that this lovely old building deserves. It’s part of Lancaster’s heritage.”