A PUB is expected to reopen later this year after a major refurbishment.

Around £450,000 is being spent on improvements to The Jolly Drovers, at Leadgate, near Consett, which is to reopen in May after being closed for around two years.

The pub, owned by Punch Taverns, has been taken over by licensees Michelle and Brian Proud, who currently run the Kings Head, in Lanchester.

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Michelle Proud said: : "We could see the pub's potential and considering its great location for local residents as well as for travellers passing through or cyclists on the Coast-to-Coast bike route, we wanted to maximise on this and create a welcoming and family-friendly meeting place.

"The pub has been closed for two years and there will be major work conducted throughout the pub, with complete redecoration inside in a more modern and brighter style.

"Our vision is to position the Jolly Drovers as offering something for everyone at great value.

"The plans look fantastic; we will be offering the community something different and a range of facilities to suit all.

Up to 30 new jobs are being created at the pub. Punch Taverns’ Partnership Development Manager, Rob Summers added: "Michelle and Brian have been in hospitality industry for nearly 30 years and gained a wealth of experience in catering and operations".