OTLEY Pub Club has toasted the reopening of The Black Horse.

New owners Kirkstall Brewery and Brudenell Social Club have carried out a major refurbishment of the inn and hotel since taking it over in the spring. The work, which has involved a considerable investment, has focused on restoring key features of the building to show off its Victorian heritage.

The Black Horse is now up and running again, serving drinks and food seven days a week. Its revamped upstairs function room is also available for hire and for live music events, which will be overseen by music promoter Nathan Clark from Brudenell Social Club.

Otley Pub Club has praised the new owners for completing a ‘stunning refurbishment’ which Steve Holt, the owner and founder of Kirkstall Brewery, played a key role in.

Club President Greg Mulholland said: “We were delighted to join Steve and some of the team at the Black Horse to toast the re-opening and stunning refurbishment of this iconic Victorian coaching inn.

“The Black Horse is now a destination pub and the décor is magnificent thanks to the investment, hard work and attention to detail by the team who have restored it so superbly.

“Already local people have been hugely positive about the pub, the food and of course the beer! We look forward to the next phases of investment and will continue to support Kirkstall and Brudenell in their work to making the most of this important hotel and venue.”

The next stage of investment in the property will involve refurbishing its nine bedrooms, while there are also plans to convert the outside stables area into a bar and live music venue.

Mr Holt said: "We are delighted to be investing in Otley. It is such a vibrant town and the people have been extremely friendly and welcoming, and we couldn’t have wished for a better reception.

"The refurbishment has been a challenging but pleasurable experience. "We have taken great care to preserve and restore the original features of the interior.

"For example we have restored the damaged decorative plasterwork and ceilings in many of the rooms and exposed and bright back to life a hidden mosaic floor.

"We hope we have created an interior that reflects the magnificent exterior of the building by introducing complimentary lighting and decorative mirrors and furnishings."

Mr Clark said: "This is only the beginning. We now want to complete the work in the function room which we intend to make available not only for events but also as a space available for community use.

"There is still a lot to do at the rear of the building where we see great potential for staging events from music and film to food and craft related markets and exhibitions.

"We also intend to get the hotel rooms up and running as soon as possible to provide quality but good value accommodation for visitors to the town. It is a really exciting time but we don’t want to rush in to these projects until we have had input and listened to local businesses and consumers about wishes or concerns that they have about our idea."

The pub club’s Membership Secretary, Eddie Conneely, added:: “It is great to have the Black Horse as the wonderful inn it always could have been, thanks to this beautiful refurbishment. The food offer, as well as the beer and other drinks, are excellent and it’s already popular with people of all ages.

“It’s also hugely positive that they are investing in the hotel rooms.”