‘Challenging’ £3.45million pub set to dominate the seafront with its iconic design.
THE new Ilfracombe Wetherspoon pub is still on course to open its doors on Tuesday, June 3.
The £3.45million Admiral Collingwood has been built on the site of the former Victorian Collingwood Hotel at the seafront and has created 74 new local jobs.
It will be managed by Martin Cumiskey, who was previously at The Carnival Inn, in Bridgwater.
The new-look pub constructed by Sanderson Contractors and designed by Harrison Ince Architects is on two floors, with a bar on each. It will be open from 8am.
There is a beer garden at ground level to the front of the building, where smoking will be permitted in a designated area, as well as a large roof terrace on the first floor.
JD Wetherspoon has also commissioned a new painting from local artist Colleen Cullen, whose seascapes encapsulate an essence of old style paintings but with a contemporary dreamlike quality, which will be placed in the pub restaurant.
Photos, a local history board, information boards relating to events, historical buildings and characters of the area, as well as a sculpture of a wave will be displayed too.
The opening will be conducted by Ilfracombe Mayor George Squires at 11am and most people in the town seem pleased the pub is about to open after a lengthy planning process.
The company acquired the seafront site and its Victorian hotel in 2007, but the old Collingwood was gutted by fire and plans revised from a pub, restaurant and hotel to just pub and restaurant.
Andy Ince of Harrison Ince has been working on the project from the beginning and said it had been the longest standing project on the company’s books.
“I am glad we have ended up with a quality finished product, with the quality that Wetherspoon always puts into its buildings and that we aspired to design,” he said.
“It was quite challenging – we set ourselves a target of designing a building that was noticeable and iconic but also still fit into its environment.
“I think we achieved that but we set ourselves some real challenges in construction, with a building that curved in each direction, but we had a really good team.”
The pub had been due to open on May 23, but a crack in one of the glass panels on the iconic glass dome on top meant new glass had to be ordered from a company in Germany.
But Mr Ince said they are satisfied the job was well done: “It’s how we envisaged it and we are pleased with it – the reactions we seem to be getting are very positive.”
Manager Martin Cumiskey added: “I and my team are looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub and we are confident that it will be a great addition to the Ilfracombe community.”
The former Collingwood Hotel was a feature of the Ilfracombe seafront for more than 130 years.
Originally a terrace of four boarding houses, it was named after the famous Admiral, Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson’s second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.