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Refurbishment Confirmed to Reopen Well Known Shepley Pub After Nearly Four Years Closure

A £435,000 refurbishment has been confirmed to reopen an historic Shepley pub that has been closed since November 2019. 


The project will transform The Farmers Boy on Marsh Lane into a great quality village pub serving good food, ending local uncertainty about its future. The overhaul by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee Dan Ayscough-MacGowan will start in mid April. The pub is expected to reopen in early June, creating 14 new jobs.


A former farm, The Farmers Boy was first listed as a beer house in 1897. The works will restore and redecorate the exterior of the Yorkshire stone building, adding new signage, lighting and an entrance canopy. The pub will have three separate outside areas seating 80 people, all kitted out with new furniture and pretty planting, which are expected to be particularly popular with the areas many dog walkers, ramblers and cyclists. 


The investment will upgrade the inside of The Farmers Boy to a high standard, whilst keeping its traditional character and feel. It will have a comfortable bar – complete with old wood beams and a new log burner – for drinks and bar food, opening onto a spacious dining area in what was once the farm’s barn. The original large arched barn window will remain a feature, bringing light flooding in. Other improvements include revamped toilets and a kitchen refit. 


The Farmers Boy will open from 10am and serve freshly prepared food all day, starting with a café-style menu of homemade cakes, sandwiches and barista-quality coffee – using beans from a local roasters in the mornings, followed by light lunches and afternoon teas. The evening menu will focus on British cuisine and include pub classics with a twist, such as burgers and fish & chips, plus à la carte specials. Locally sourced ingredients will be used wherever possible, and there will be a wide choice of vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options.


Dan wants The Farmers Boy to be known for the quality of its drinks as well as its food and, to that end, is installing state-of-the-art cellar dispense equipment to ensure consistently perfect pints. The extensive drinks selection will span cask ales, craft beer, interesting wines and spirits from local distilleries. Customers’ four-legged friends have not been forgotten either, and will be well catered for with complimentary treats, bowls of water and towels. 


Dan, who was born in Huddersfield, says finding The Famers Boy, his first pub, is a “dream come true.” Although his father’s job forced his family to move away when Dan was two years old, he loved returning every year to visit relations and always wanted to settle back down near Huddersfield one day


With 12 years experience working in pubs and coffee shops, Dan was looking for a pub of his own when he spotted The Farmers Boy. Says Dan: “I knew it was ‘the one’ as soon as I walked in, and I jumped at the chance to take it on. It is rundown but has loads of potential; it will look beautiful once the refurbishment is complete. Local residents are desperate for The Famers Boy to reopen and have been incredibly welcoming. My aim is to make The Farmers Boy a pub they can be proud of once again, and it’ll be supporting community events and activities.”


Adds Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager Anthony Briggs: “The challenges of the past three years have held up our investment in The Farmers Boy. It’s fantastic to finally be breaking ground on the works. Dan has a passion for service, and his plans for the pub are spot-on; he’s the ideal licensee for The Farmers Boy.  


With Dan at the helm, The Farmers Boy won’t just be a great local for Shepley but will serve the needs of those from across the wider area as a warm welcoming village pub offering excellent food for every occasion.