Plans to turn a landmark South Tyneside pub into an hotel have been warmly welcomed by people in South Tyneside.
New bosses at the Marsden Grotto in South Shields expect to start work to transform its first floor into 10 bedrooms within a fortnight and hope it will be open for its first customers by the end of 2018.
The £500,000 project has been given the go-ahead by South Tyneside Council after it became clear that the plan would not have a significant environmental impact on the area.
The Grotto sits within an area of globally recognised wildlife and scientific interest and is classed as one of the borough’s sites of historic importance.
Owner Terry Maughan 50, who bought the Grotto last Easter, confirmed relevant checks had been done and the plan was now ready to go ahead.
Mr Maughan has already transformed the pub’s ground floor into a popular seafood restaurant and maintained its public bar.
They will remain open during all hotel development works.
Gazette readers wtook to our Facebook page to support the move.
Alan Hall wrote: “Best of luck with this. Over the years as a pub and/or restaurant, it has repeatedly failed. Hopefully this change of use will prove a success story.”
Dan Jameson added: “May I suggest a tearoom or other visitors to this landmark site.”
Samantha Kelly said: “As a local it will be great to see this venue come back to life.”
Joanne Clark added: “Good luck to the new owners. Afantastic idea for such a great location.”
Oliver Wallhead wrote: “I wish them all the very best,
“Fingers crossed they can turn it around.”
Sarah Robson also supports the plan but has a word of caution
She wrote “My great grandad used to work there.
“He is said to be the nuisance spirit that haunts the place.”
Derek Rutherford added: “The investment can only be good for the building.”