Northumberland pub's 'closing down sale' ahead of £350k refurbishment

A popular Ponteland pub is to close at the end of service on Sunday for a £350,000 revamp.

By Andrew Coulson
Friday, 7th January 2022, 1:21 pm
Vaulkhard Group director Ollie Vaulkhard.
Vaulkhard Group director Ollie Vaulkhard.

And before the works by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars and Newcastle-based leisure operator Vaulkhard Leisure begin, The Diamond Inn is having a ‘closing down sale’ reduction on various drinks – starting this evening – to clear the remaining Christmas stock.

Part of the refurbishment will create an alfresco terrace where guests can socialise for the majority of the year.

A six-by-six metre covered timber pergola will be adorned with foliage and vintage lighting and the heated decked area will feature two trees within the canopy, a gas firepit, metal privacy screens and rustic wooden tables and benches covered in sheep fleeces.

As for the sale, a post on the pub’s Facebook page states: ‘It's the last weekend before we close our doors for six weeks as we get a much deserved face-lift. But we need your help.

‘We still have a bit Xmas stock left and it needs to go by Saturday night.

‘From Friday at 5pm, all draught pints are £2, all bottles (excluding wines and champs) are £2, all single spirits and mixer are £3 and all double spirits and mixer are £4.

‘Once it’s gone – it’s gone.’

The works will also include the exterior of the pub being repainted in a muted beige with new gold and black signage.

Inside, the décor and furniture will be upgraded. There will be leather and fabric low and high-level seating.

The walls will be a mix of painted and rustic timber panelling and the bar will be clad in a metal decorative tile and surrounded by ceramic tiles.

Director Ollie Vaulkhard said: “We know there is a real demand in the North East for alfresco drinking and dining, especially since the (Covid-19) pandemic started.

“We put up a temporary structure to gauge its appeal. It was very popular but sadly blew away during Storm Arwen.

“Our new alfresco area will be more substantial, more comfortable and atmospheric.

“Inside, it’s a case of bringing The Diamond up to date. We’re keen to retain the pub’s classic feel and stay true to its roots, but pubs in the 90s were different to today.

“The Diamond needed to evolve to reflect changing society and broaden its appeal. As a result, there will be more craft going forward and a wider selection of premium drinks.”

The pub has 12 ensuite wi-fi fitted letting rooms and a function room. Vaulkhard Leisure, which runs 15 pubs and bars, has been operating The Diamond Inn since the end of 2018 on a temporary agreement. It has now taken on the lease of the pub.

Jeremy Scott, investment manager, Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We’re delighted that Vaulkhard Leisure has taken on the lease of The Diamond.

“The upgrade will improve the comfort for customers and bring the pub up-to-date.

“By the time The Diamond re-opens, hopefully the (nearby) airport will be operating to capacity, making it an ideal location for a stopover as well as great place to socialise for the many local customers who use it on a regular basis.”