£420k revamp at The Swan pub in Burslem would bring events to square
DRINKERS could soon enjoy "cosmopolitan culture" in the Mother Town as a businessman looks to breathe new life in to a vacant pub.
Plans have been put forward to reopen The Swan in Burslem as both a pub and hotel as part of a £420,000 venture.
And the proposals, submitted by businessman Gareth Fallows, also include a request for a licence for Swan Square so revellers can enjoy outdoor entertainment.
Mr Fallows, aged 32, who runs Hanley-based Acorn Training, said: "I live in Burslem and went to school at Holden Lane so the town is very close to my heart.
"The whole downstairs of the building will be renovated and turned into a large pub and restaurant area.
"We will also have four ensuite bedrooms upstairs including two family rooms, to try to capitalise on the Alton Towers trade.
"It will be a place where people can go and sit and enjoy a coffee in the daytime, as opposed to ordering one at an alcohol-led venue.
"Our aim is to provide a community-focused venue that respects the heritage and regeneration of Burslem."
Mr Fallows says the project to reopen the pub, which has been closed since an arson attack in 2007, has involved meetings with the Burslem Regeneration Company as well as councillors.
A public consultation was also carried out.
The businessman, who bought the venue from Punch Taverns in 2010, said: "Public consultation and the initial view of planning at the time was to construct a more cosmopolitan cafe-style culture on Swan Square."
Events at the venue could include art performances, jazz bands, orchestras and choirs playing both inside and outside the pub.
If Stoke-on-Trent City Council approves the licensing application, a large screen could also be erected in the square for national events such as royal weddings.
Last year the authority rubber-stamped Mr Fallows's plans to build a small rear extension to the building and change the internal layout.
The original building on the site dated back to the late 18th century.
It was demolished in the 1930s and replaced by a mock three-storey Georgian building.
Burslem historian Fred Hughes, a Sentinel columnist, has backed the latest plans.
He said: "I think it's a fantastic idea and it's just the thing that Burslem wants."
Mervyn Edwards, spokesman for the Potteries Pub Preservation Group, said: "I would be reasonably excited that the pub could use the area outside for its benefit."
And the plans have also been backed by nearby traders.
Stephen Faulder, aged 45, of Cheddleton, who runs The Hobby Goblin in Queen Street, said: "Anything that raises the profile of the town and gives the area a buzz should be welcomed."