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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Ben Lyons & Lynette Pinchess

Cost of Ilkeston pub's revamp doubles in bid to entice new operator

The owners of an Ilkeston pub are pledging to invest £200,000 in a makeover - nearly double the £111,000 first mooted last year. The cost of the revamp has been upped in a bid to attract a permanent operator to The Needlemakers Arms.

The revamp, however, will only go ahead once a new tenant has been found. The pub, in Kensington Street, closed in June 2020 during the pandemic. The previous licensee quit after struggling to meet rent payments while having no income during lockdown.

A temporary operator was brought in by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars later during the summer of that year, allowing the pub to reopen, while the search for a long term tenant continued. So far the company has failed to find anyone to take over the reins.

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The big-money refurbishment would turn the pub into a coaching inn-style ale house, with six real ales behind the bar and an emphasis on local brewers. The refurbishment will also include a new outdoor terrace with seating, plants and festoon lighting to make it look attractive to passers-by.

Inside will get new seating, lighting and flooring. The toilets will also be revamped. Star promised the pub would benefit from traditional pub games including darts and table skittles

Star has described the pub as a "popular community drinking pub with a welcoming, local feel" with footfall throughout the day and evening. Prospective licensees face paying £22,128 in annual rent if they decide to take it on.

An exterior view showing how The Needlemakers Arms, in Ilkeston, could look following a £200,000 refurbishment (Star Pubs & Bars)

Computer-generated images have shown how the pub's exterior could look following the proposed refurbishment. A spokeswoman for Star Pubs & Bars said: “We have plans for a £200,000 revamp of The Needlemakers, located in a bustling suburb of Ilkeston.

“The Needlemakers will become a coaching inn-style ale house, with six real ales available and a focus on local brewers. The refurbishment will also include a new outdoor terrace as well as an internal upgrade with new seating, lighting and flooring. We are in the process of recruiting a new operator who shares our vision for this pub."

Anyone interested can find out more at


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