Historic Leicestershire pub gets £200k face-lift

A Victorian pub is getting a £200,000 revamp to help it welcome in 2020.

Work is starting next week refurbishing the Railway Arms in Kibworth Beauchamp, south Leicestershire, including demolishing a dilapidated skittle alley to make way for a 60-seat garden.

The Railway Street pub will close on January 6 for the revamp by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and its new operator, Wigston born-and-bred Andrew Bolley.

Andrew took over the pub last spring and work is expected to take four weeks, with the pub scheduled to reopen in mid-February.

The Railway Arms dates back to around the time that Kibworth station was built in 1857, and the renovation will include repainting the exterior to help it become an attractive focal point of the village centre again.

The interior will be decorated and upgraded to make it more comfortable and welcoming and features such as the old-fashioned oak bar and open fire will be retained and restored along with railway memorabilia from bygone days.

“Cheers”: Andrew Bolley (left) with team members Deb Betts and Iain Goslin

As well as installing new toilets, the kitchen will be fitted out so that Andrew can offer a freshly prepared menu focusing on traditional pub favourites and produce from nearby Leicestershire farms.

An extended drinks range will span cask and craft beers, premium spirits, wines and coffee.

Meanwhile, the new beer garden will include a new patio, planting, furniture and festoon lighting.

Andrew, who also operates The Wheel Inn at Oadby and Old Kings Head at Long Buckby, said he wanted to make The Railway a hub for the village with regular entertainment and events, as well as new screens showing live sports.

He said: “The Railway Arms is a beautiful old building but it’s tired and in need of TLC.

“There’s been lots of speculation about its future.

“I want to broaden its appeal, bring it back to life and make it an asset to the village.

“I’ve got many friends living in Kibworth Beauchamp; it’s a great place with a real community spirit.

“I feel very fortunate to have found a pub here.”

The Railway Arms in Kibworth Beauchamp now

Star Pubs and Bars Midlands operations director Paul Linton said: “Andrew is a highly experienced licensee, who knows and cares about the local area.

“We’re delighted to be investing with him to revive The Railway Arms’ fortunes and to give local residents many more reasons to visit.

“With all the new homes in the area, there is real demand for great pubs in Kibworth Beauchamp.”

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