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Norfolk hotel to reopen after £1m investment

PUBLISHED: 10:54 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:03 31 May 2019

Debbie Wright is the area manager of Verve Hotels. Picture: Marc Betts

Debbie Wright is the area manager of Verve Hotels. Picture: Marc Betts

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A hotel that has been empty for almost a year has been given a new lease of life after a £1m investment.

The Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc BettsThe Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc Betts

The Hare and Barrel, on Brandon Road, Watton, was a bar, restaurant and hotel before it closed at the end of last year.

Plans had been lodged with Breckland Council by the new owners to turn it into a private specialist centre for addiction but after it was refused and the second plan withdrawn after public objection, Verve Hotels has invested the large sum to reopen as a hotel.

The guest house will have 19 rooms with a mix of luxury, double and single rooms which can host 38 guests. A new bar and kitchen has been fitted which will serve food in the restored restaurant area.

Verve Hotels have locations in Diss, Peterborough, Bedford and Stilton. Area manager Debbie Wright is hoping that the new Watton hotel will bring people into the town.

The Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc BettsThe Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc Betts

She said: "With the rehab application there was a lot of public discussion, some good and some bad, but we made the decision to withdraw it and seeing some of the comments there were a lot of people asking for the hotel to come back, so we are giving Watton what it wants.

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"We hope that people will come into the town to use the restaurant or stay in the hotel and experience what Watton has on offer."

The hotel brand had originally hoped to spend less but as more work was completed on the building the project went £250,000 over budget.

The Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc BettsThe Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc Betts

Ms Wright is also the manager at the Diss hotel.

"We try to make sure that each hotel has that something special that makes it stand out from the others," she added.

"The hotel is right at the top of the High Street in a good location so hopefully people will come and explore Watton.

"I think the residents will be very happy with the work we have done."

The Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc BettsThe Hare and Barrel Hotel Watton has had £1 million invested in its restoration. Picture: Marc Betts

The hotel is set to open on Friday, June 28, with a special launch night.

For more information go to www.vervehotels.co.uk.

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