A BISHOP Auckland pub is set to have a new lease of life after work began on a major £337,000 refurbishment.

The Station pub, in Newgate Street, is being transformed by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee and businesswoman, Cheryl Jeffrey.

Four new jobs will be created when it reopens at the end of April with the investment being designed to bring the pub up-to-date, improve facilities and broaden its appeal to shoppers and families.

Food will be introduced for the first time while the weekly quiz, entertainment and racing will all continue.

Funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the interior and exterior of the venue, turning it into a modern industrial-style pub.

Outside, the pub is being redecorated in grey and white with new signage.

The drinks will also have a refresh with a new cocktail menu, prosecco and a wide range of gins.

As part of the changes being introduced, Ms Jeffrey is also installing an app which will allow customers to choose the music being played.

Having worked in HR for many years and had her own shop in Billingham, Ms Jeffrey said she had been waiting for the right pub before making the leap from retail to hospitality. And when she heard the Station was to benefit from significant investment, she leapt at the opportunity to take it on.

Her brother is also relocating to the town to work at the pub.

She said: “Bishop Auckland is crying out for a town-centre pub offering fresh home-cooked food which everyone can enjoy, whether they’re wanting a burger while they watch a match or bringing the family in for tea.

“Having listened to people in the town, I’ve made sure we’ve got an authentic Parmo on the menu too.

“The Station is going to be very different from everything else in the town and the investment will help with the regeneration of the town centre.

“As well as attracting a new clientele it will still be a place where regulars can feel at home and continue to enjoy the drink, sports and entertainment they love.

“I’d love to know if anyone can shed light on why the pub was called The Station, as it isn’t by the station and also to see any old photos that people might have.”

Gary Corney, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars added: “We’re delighted that Cheryl has taken on The Station. She’s run her own shop and worked in pubs, so has a keen understanding of customer service, which is key to running a great community pub. Our investment coupled with Chery’s local knowledge and understanding of what people want and her enthusiasm will create a great local unmatched on the high street.”

To follow the refurbishment visit The Station’s facebook page.