Pub-chain’s £3.5m development set to be complete by April next year.

WORK is due to start in August on the new futuristic Wetherspoon pub in Ilfracombe.

The £3.5 million project to regenerate the derelict site of the former Collingwood Hotel on Wilder Road is expected to be complete by April next year.

The pub-restaurant will bring around 70 jobs to the town.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said he hoped the new development would act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the town.

"This is a landmark development for the company and we believe the new pub will be a great asset to the town.

"We understand the importance of this development to the town and look forward to building a superb pub which we are confident will appeal to people of all ages."

Councillor Mike Edmunds, North Devon Council's executive member for strategic planning, said: "This is the second major development for Ilfracombe in recent months, the first being the arrival of the statue Verity in the harbour.

"The council is pleased to be involved with these projects that are helping to attract private investment to the town.

"We will continue to help as much as we can to regenerate Ilfracombe for local residents and visitors."

Chairman of Ilfracombe Tourism Group, district and town councillor Philip Webb, added: "It's great that Weatherspoon has confidence in Ilfracombe to spend £3.5 million on the project and create more jobs for the town. It's going to be very good for both locals and tourists."

The former Collingwood Hotel site is one of a handful of sites being looked at by the town and district councils as part of their work in the Ilfracombe Development Sites Group.

The group aims to protect Ilfracombe's heritage and encourage regeneration. It is made up of planning, regeneration and surveying staff as well as council members.