A £100,000 renovation of a pub in Chester-le-Street is underway after owners uncovered serious building issues during a routine upgrading scheme.

The Chester Moor, which has been run by publicans Linda and Keith Hutchinson for more than 20 years, was due to have new external decoration, signage and lighting, after Enterprise agreed to support plans to improve the look of the pub.

But when work started, builders discovered that the pub had structural problems relating to the foundations and roof.

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Working in partnership with Enterprise, the couple are also planning to spend around £25,000 on improving the interior of the pub - which is a family food destination featuring a 50 seat restaurant and separate lounge bar.

With work now well underway, the couple hope to re-open the pub at the beginning of August.

Enterprise regional manager Stuart Ireland said: “When we started working on site and chipping away at the existing rendering we discovered some significant structural programmes on the side elevation.

“But despite the financial implications we are committed to completing the required repairs as quickly as possible, reducing the pub closure period to a minimum and helping the publicans with their plans to further improve what has been a popular pub over the years.”

Before taking on the tenancy at The Chester Moor, Mr and Mrs Hutchinson ran the pub as managers for the previous owners Vaux Brewery.

Mr Hutchinson said: “We were obviously disappointed to discover the structural issues, but are delighted that Enterprise has agreed to carry out the work so quickly and help us with our plans for improving the Chester Moor so it becomes the best.”