Demolition of Ilfracombe hotel begins

Joseph Bulmer

After more than four years of waiting for something to happen, local people watch the machines move in to reduce the former Victorian hotel to rubble.

WORK has begun to demolish the derelict Collingwood Hotel in Ilfracombe – once the height of Victorian elegance, now thought by many to be a modern day eyesore.

Contractors LA Moore Limited have set about the six week task of pulling down the old building and clearing the site, in preparation for its redevelopment by pub chain JD Wetherspoon, which is planning a pub, restaurant and 54 bedroom hotel.

The company has said it is hoped building work might start around June, with development expected to take nine months. Around 50 jobs are expected to be created as a result.

It might be the end of a familiar seafront building, but many people in Ilfracombe are likely to be glad to see the back of it – following Wetherspoon’s acquisition of the Collingwood in 2007 it has been hit by fire, a lengthy planning wrangle and delays.