ONE of Otley’s oldest pubs will begin a new chapter in its story this weekend following a £50,000 revamp.

The Bay Horse, on Market Place, is believed to date back to the mid 1700s. The pub, following a recent period of closure, has been given a major facelift by community pub operator Hawthorn Leisure which has spent £40,000.

The inn’s new licensees, Dean and Jan Ball, have also invested £10,000 on redecorating the interior and laying new flooring.

The work has included:

*Modernising the toilets and moving the men’s facilities inside

*Renovating two Joshua Tetley lamps - the pub is believed to have been the first in the UK to serve Tetley beer - at the front and rear of the building

*Installing new lighting and signs, and reverting to a traditional colour scheme.

Customers will be able to see the results on Saturday, October 12 when the pub reopens. Mr Ball, who with Jan previously ran The Fox & Hounds in Langthorpe, near Harrogate, said: “We both fancied a change, and happened to see that The Bay Horse was available while stuck in traffic passing through Otley.

“It must have been fate, because it was the very pub at which we used to regularly meet friends, about six years ago.

“The pub had been closed for some time and needed to be updated and refurbished but now it’s had a facelift and been brightened up we’re really looking forward to welcoming regulars back, attracting new customers, and making it somewhere that tourists want to visit.”

The work has been welcomed by Otley Pub Club whose President, Greg Mulholland, said: “We are delighted that the much-loved Bay Horse will be reopening and we welcome Dean and Jan as licensees.

“We’re pleased that this unique pub has now had much-needed investment including, at last, moving the gents toilets inside - and we commend Hawthorn Leisure for doing this and investing in a partnership with Dean and Jan. We look forward to The Bay Horse once again serving the community and playing an important part in the town’s tourism.”

New club Chair, Rob Skinner, said: “It’s great news that The Bay Horse is refurbished and reopening. We commend Hawthorn for the investment and welcome Dean and Jan to the Otley pub family!”

Hawthorn Leisure’s Managing Director of operations, Mark McGinty, added: “The Bay Horse is an important pub for the local Otley community, and we’re delighted that we’ve now completed the refurbishment works and the pub is ready to open its doors again.

“Dean and Jan are very experienced pub operators and we feel they’re the perfect couple to take on and run this traditional town centre local.”