The Whitakers Arms to close for a £287k makeover to include state-of-the-art games room

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Work at The Whitakers Arms will start next week and will include one of the best games rooms in the area.

A popular Accrington pub has been earmarked for a £287k makeover which will cater for the whole community and will have one of the best games rooms in the area.

The refurbishment to The Whitakers Arms on Burnley Road, Accrington, will also include a spacious function room and a new menu.

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The overhaul will carefully renovate the outside of the old sandstone pub with new lighting, signage and planting, enhancing the area. The large rear garden will be kitted out with new furniture.

A complete internal makeover will upgrade the "dated" pub throughout to make it "more warm, welcoming and contemporary". The smart new décor will incorporate wood flooring, booth seating and feature wallpaper and lighting.

To cater for all occasions, The Whitakers Arms will have a traditional bar, a comfortable lounge and dining area and a games zone complete with a new pool table, darts and a high spec AV system showing BT and TNT Sports. A 70-seater function room will be retained and revamped to become a major part of The Whitakers.

The work is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs and Bars and will see Vanessa Wolfenden take the helm as the new licensee. Vanessa wants The Whitakers Arms to be “a hub of the community” and will be running a host of activities to bring residents together, ranging from bingo and senior citizens coffee mornings to quiz nights and live entertainment.

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A kitchen refit will enable Vanessa and her team to serve all-day food focused on pub classics such as burgers, fish and chips and Sunday roasts.

Dishes will be affordable but good quality with a separate menu for children.

Customers’ four-legged friends have not been forgotten either, and will be offered free treats, bowls of water and even their own doggy menu.

Vanessa, who has previously had her own sports therapy business, said: “It’s a dream come true.

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"Jamie and I have always wanted a pub and have been looking for the right place for a year. I knew The Whitakers was ‘the one’ as soon as I walked in.

"It’s rundown but has got lots of character and potential, all it needs is some TLC. It will look amazing after all the investment it’s getting.

"I’m incredibly excited and can’t wait to open the doors.”

Star Pubs Bars’ area manager for Accrington Chris Newsham added: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Vanessa to give The Whitakers Arms a new lease of life.

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"We’re giving it ‘the works’ to really broaden its appeal and develop a fantastic pub for people to enjoy.

"Vanessa is full of enthusiasm and very hospitable. Her plans for The Whitakers are spot on – it will be a top notch local with something for everyone.” The work will start next Monday (January 15) and it is hoped to reopen by mid February, creating 10 new jobs.

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