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Pictures: The Admiral Collingwood is officially open

PUBLISHED: 12:23 03 June 2014

Ilfracombe Mayor George Squires cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of The Admiral Collingwood, joined by pub manager Martin Cumiskey and Town Crier Roy Goodwin.

Ilfracombe Mayor George Squires cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of The Admiral Collingwood, joined by pub manager Martin Cumiskey and Town Crier Roy Goodwin.

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New Ilfracombe JD Wetherspoon pub opens for business.

Crowds gather on Tuedsay for the official opening of the new Ilfracombe JD Wetherspoon.Crowds gather on Tuedsay for the official opening of the new Ilfracombe JD Wetherspoon.

THE new Ilfracombe JD Wetherspoon pub has been highlighted as another sign the town is blossoming.

The £3.45million Admiral Collingwood was officially opened today (Tuesday) by the Mayor, Councillor George Squires, following a weekend of free taster sessions as part of staff training.

It has taken several years for the new building to become a reality but all the reaction so far appears to be positive.

The new pub has created around 74 new jobs and looks set to become a dominating feature overlooking the seafront.

Local artist Colleen Cullen with her painting the Hayboat, commission by JD Wetherspoon.Local artist Colleen Cullen with her painting the Hayboat, commission by JD Wetherspoon.

“I am incredibly impressed,” Mr Squires told the Gazette.

“The most impressive thing for me is the number of people employed, of which an awful lot are local, which is obviously an incredible economic boost for our town and I think a restaurant like this actually benefits everybody.

“It’s a super place, I think the architecture almost has a bit of a reflection of the Landmark in it and the upstairs seating area at sunset is magnificent.

“I think it’s just another little thing to show that Ilfracombe is blossoming.”

Free breakfast! Ilfracombe's Garry Thompson tries out some of the nosh...Free breakfast! Ilfracombe's Garry Thompson tries out some of the nosh...

The pub was built by Sanderson Contractors and designed by Harrison Ince Architects, on two floors, with a bar on each.

Commissioned artwork is on display across both floors, together with photographs and information boards about the area.

North Devon artist Colleen Cullen was commissioned to create a painting for the new pub – her work Hayboat embodies her seascapes, which encapsulate an essence of old style paintings but with a contemporary dreamlike quality.

Manager Martin Cumiskey said there had been ‘an outstanding reaction’ from the community, while The Admiral Collongwood Ilfracombe Facebook page had now received almost 1,900 likes.

“Clearly there’s nothing like this in Ilfracombe at the moment so ideally it’s going to keep more people in town rather than going off to Barnstaple,” he said.

“The new team are a really good batch – we focussed on peoples’ personalities and there is a good mix of ages. It’s been a long time coming and I think now it’s finally here it’s going to be well received.”

Ilfracombe resident Garry Thompson commented on Friday: “‘Well, it was worth waiting for. I’ve just had the pleasure of enjoying my first breakfast at Ilfracombe’s new Wetherspoons, and what a whopper it was!

“Thanks to all concerned for allowing us the pleasure of dining at your new establishment as the new workforce completed their training.

I was really impressed with the warm welcome, the service and the quality of the food.”

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