Major work starts next month at landmark South Shields pub
The Â£500,000 transformation of part of a historic South Tyneside pub into a hotel is to start within weeks, bosses have confirmed,
They say builders will get to work on the redevelopment of the upstairs section of the Marsden Grotto early in the new year.
It is the first main stage in what is expected be a year-long refit of the South Shields seafront attraction.
Owner Terry Maughan, 50, plans to transform its unused first floor into a suite of 10 bedrooms.
Some initial clear-out work has taken place, but Mr Maughan says his teams will begin full building development in January.
Earlier this year, planners gave the scheme the go-ahead despite initial concerns about its impact on its ecologically sensitive surroundings.
Mr Maughan, who bought the Grotto last Easter, said: “I am looking forward to the main development starting.
“The Grotto is a landmark venue in a wonderful location and the hotel part of it will be a great asset to South Tyneside.
“It is well-known across the region and adding the bedrooms is a great addition to it. The real work starts next month.”
Mr Maughan has already transformed the venue’s ground floor into a seafood restaurant and maintained its public bar.
They are currently open and will remain so during all hotel development works.
He hopes the Grotto’s hotel section will be open by late next year or early 2019.
Concerns around the conversion of the first floor rested on its location within the Durham Coast Special Area of Conservation and the Durham Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).