MP celebrates opening of The Great Western following £314k refurbishment

MP celebrates opening of The Great Western following £314k refurbishment

Michelle Donelan MP joined new licensees Michael & Kimara Yeomans at the Great Western, Corsham to pull an inaugural pint to mark the reopening of the pub following a £314k refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars.

The pub, which has been closed for nine weeks, has doubled its capacity with the addition of a new dining conservatory and now offers traditional pub food and barista style coffee for the first time.

The Great Western will show live sports and host regular live entertainment at least monthly and from January will be introducing a weekly pub quiz.  The South Africa versus England rugby match will be shown live on Saturday followed in the evening by a performance by a local vocalist.

As the builders moved out this week, the new couple moved into the pub. Michael said: “We’re thrilled by the transformation at The Great Western.  You wouldn’t recognise it. It’s much brighter, and more comfortable and welcoming now.  It is a great weekend to open the doors with the South Africa v. England match, but having lived in South Africa in recent years I wasn’t sure who to support!”

Local resident and captain of one of the pub’s darts team, Keith Dawdry said: “In the past The Great Western had no heating and so we had to play in jumpers.  What I’ve seen of it so far, it will be a 100% improvement on before. People didn’t go to the pub because it wasn’t comfortable or a place you wanted to spend any time. With pubs closing all around, it’s very important to have a pub like this open for the community.  It is on the edge of two large estates so is in walking distance for most people.  We look forward to going back to the place we have played for the last five years.  I wish Michael and Kimara the best of luck from all the darts teams.”

Neil Convery, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars who was also there to support Michael and Kimara at the opening said: “It’s been a positive week for local pub goers.  With Wiltshire having a high number of pub closures, it’s good to see The Great Western benefit from significant investment and to have an experienced, enthusiastic couple like Michael and Kimara taking it forward.

“At Heineken and Star Pubs & Bars we’re passionate about the great British pub, keeping them thriving. So, we’re delighted the chancellor has recognised the vital roles pubs play in their communities across the country by freezing beer and cider duty and cutting business rates.  Two very good reasons to raise a pint!”

Michelle Donelan MP said “The investment in the Great Western pub is wonderful news for Corsham and it was a privilege to officially open this fantastic venue. I receive many emails from constituents who highlight the value which pubs bring to local communities and I am glad that this investment ensures this pub has been secured for years to come.”