FOLLOWING a major refurbishment, an historic pub has reopened after almost a year.

The Wheatsheaf Hotel, in Corbridge, is under new ownership after it suddenly closed last February, and is now back up-and-running.

Vixen Pub Company took over the pub on St Helen’s Street and has invested heavily in giving the building a makeover, with the six bedrooms, bar and dining areas all refurbished.

The company recruited Lauren McKirdy and partner Gary Wharff as managers of the pub, and they have been steadily growing custom since it opened just before Christmas.

Lauren, who has 12 years of experience in the bar industry, including a spell as events and marketing manager at Hexham’s Beaumont Hotel, said: “A big draw to the Wheatsheaf was the location.

“I found the job advertised online and Corbridge is such a lovely place all about local trade and fresh, local produce.

“We are trying to take it in a direction that suits how the company has done it out and give the locals something different to the what the other pubs offer.

“A lot of people have told us that this used to be their local, and we want to bring that back to the village.

“We want it to be the heart of Corbridge because it’s one of the longest standing pubs, and we want to make a success of it.”

Since coming to the helm, Lauren and Gary have made a number of changes to the menu.

After speaking with customers, the menu has been tailored to provide something different to what the businesses nearby provide.

Lauren said: “We don’t want to do the same as everybody is offering, and the main thing is filling the gap in the market.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people. We take all messages on board and apply the recommendations where possible.

“The biggest feedback we’ve had is about the quality of food for the price they pay.”