A major upgrade is being carried out on a rundown pub in Durham city centre with building work starting today. (Monday, February 5)

The Big Jug on Claypath is undergoing £400,000 worth of work and is expected to be reopen mid-March in time for Easter.

Ten jobs are being created on the back of the investment by Star Pubs and Bars and its new licensees, Craig and Stacey Wright. 

The couple already run the well regarded and popular City bar on New Elvet and The Green in Billy Row, near Crook. 

Their plans for The Big Jug are to create a top quality local with a relaxed sociable atmosphere ensuring it has a broad appeal to locals, students and visitors. 

Craig said: “The Big Jug will go from run down to warm and inviting. 

“It will be a real transformation both for the pub and that part of the city. 

“There aren’t many places in Durham that host regular live music. 

“Our pub, The City, is one of the few other places.  The upstairs function room with its own private bar is also a rarity in Durham.  

“It will be available for private parties, christenings as well as for work do’s and meetings, student quizzes and charity nights.  

“We’ll also have Big Jug loyalty schemes for regulars and discounts for students.”

The pub will feature different acts, such as bands and an open mic night, on two to four times a week. 

It will also show live sports daily and offer grab-and-go style food such as pizzas, paninis and sharing boards.

There will be drinks to suit all tastes including classic lagers, Gamma Ray and Neck Oil craft beers, premium spirits, ciders and wines, cocktails, a good selection of low and no options and barista style coffee. 

The latest dispense technology is being installed to improve the quality and consistency of draft beer and cider.

The sympathetic revamp of the Grade 2 pub will see a top to toe redecoration of the interior and increase covers from 37 to 69. 

The walls will be covered with rustic timber and painted panels together with a mural and neon decorative lighting.

New wrought iron work will enhance the bar and stair area.

The loos are to be upgraded and the upstairs function room and bar redecorated. Four new TVs will enable live sport to be viewed throughout the pub including in the function room. 

The pub’s exterior is to be given a complete makeover, repainted blue and white with new signage and lighting. 

To the rear there will be a new seating area for 16 with festoon lighting, and planting.

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Star Pubs and Bars business development manager Lance Green said: “Craig and Stacey are experienced and successful pub operators with a detailed knowledge of the Durham market. 

“They have totally transformed the fortunes of their other two pubs and will do the same with The Big Jug. 

“We’re delighted to be investing with Craig and Stacey as The Big Jug hasn’t had a proper revamp for ten years. 

“It needed the right people to take it on, which it now has. 

“I wish Craig and Stacey success with their latest venture.”