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Pub spends more than £26,000 on redesign ahead of full reopening

PUBLISHED: 10:12 28 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:43 29 June 2020

A popular town freehouse is preparing to celebrate the re-opening of pubs on July 4 with a beer festival - but boasts that it never shut! Photo: Google Maps / The Ingate

A popular town freehouse is preparing to celebrate the re-opening of pubs on July 4 with a beer festival - but boasts that it never shut! Photo: Google Maps / The Ingate

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A popular town freehouse is gearing up to welcome back customers after spending more than £26,000 on refurbishments.

Michelle Payne, landlady at the Ingate Pub in Beccles. Photo: Victoria PertusaMichelle Payne, landlady at the Ingate Pub in Beccles. Photo: Victoria Pertusa

The Ingate Freehouse in Beccles has spent thousands of pounds on totally redecorating its interior and exterior to find a way to safely open once pubs get the go ahead to welcome back customers on Saturday, July 4.

The funds have been spent on new floors, a disabled access toilet and other improvements around the pub related to PPE, serving while socially distanced and outdoor seating.

Changes include the conversion of the car park into a seating area, and ‘four pint’ takeaway glasses to reduce time spent at the bar.

While they are looking forward to July 4, they say they never fully shut during lockdown, having successfully run a takeaway and delivery service.

The Ingate Freehouse in Beccles. Photo: Google MapsThe Ingate Freehouse in Beccles. Photo: Google Maps

Pub landlords Michelle and Trevor Payne said: “Our customers simply couldn’t cope very well with anxiety and worry.

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“For the first two weeks of lockdown, we were on call to make sure our more vulnerable customers and friends had a regular contact.”

They also set up a website for online orders and phone orders, with drinks and pub snacks boxed up and sent to customers.

New tables in the former car park allow for more customers, while keeping social distance. Photo: ProvidedNew tables in the former car park allow for more customers, while keeping social distance. Photo: Provided

Though sanitisation and social distancing guidelines were adhered to and appropriate licences were in place, Mrs Payne said: “It made me feel like a very naughty milkman at times, doing knocks and run.”

Mrs Payne said the pub’s opening hours, which have been 12pm to 7pm daily through lockdown, won’t change once they can formally reopen for non-takeaway service from July 4.

She also announced the pub would be celebrating with a beer and ale festival on July 4, which kicks off with the Norwich City football match at 12.30pm with drinks served to seated tables.

“Wish us luck. We are a small pub with a huge heart and will carry on through,” the landlords told their customers.

Trevor Payne, of the Ingate. Photo: ProvidedTrevor Payne, of the Ingate. Photo: Provided

“We want people to know serving, orders and safety is paramount. We have a lot available for the festival so customers can feel part of something positive and happy - the first enjoyment in a long time.”


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