WORK finally started this week on a £1.3 million project to transform an eyesore former shop in Bulwell into a sparkling new JD Wetherspoon pub.
It was back in 2007 that the firm was initially given the green light to redevelop the ex-Wilkinson store on Main Street.
Complications with the design and difficulties surrounding the lease for the premises resulted in more than four years’ worth of frustrating delays.
However the pub giant is now delighted to announce that the project started fully on Monday (July 4).
The first pints for paying customers will be pulled on Tuesday September 20.
More than 40 full-time and part-time jobs will be created by the venture.
Wetherspoon’s chief executive John Hutson said: “We are delighted that building work is to start on our new pub in Bulwell.
“We believe the new pub will be welcomed by people of all ages and will be an asset to the town.”
Planning permission from Nottingham City Council for the original project had a three-year shelf-life and expired last year.
Wetherspoon’s was forced to go back to the drawing board and submit a revised scheme before Christmas. This was given the go-ahead.
Despite the setbacks, the company, which has more than 800 pubs nationwide, has repeatedly given assurances that it is committed to opening a pub in Bulwell.
Now customers can look forward to a venue that will be music-free and will specialise in a range of real ales at competitive prices.
It will also serve food and will be open to families with children.
Other features will be complete access for wheelchair users and a specialist toilet for disabled customers.
The pub will open at a time when many of Bulwell’s more traditional boozers have fallen foul of the economic downturn.
These include the Three Crowns, the Apollo, the Scots Grey, the Highbury Vale, The Swinger, the Horse And Jockey, the Golden Ball and the Hall Park Tavern.
But Wetherspoon’s bosses say they are optimistic that the Bulwell pub will thrive in the same way as the Pilgrim Oak, on Hucknall High Street.
Added Mr Hutson: “The Pilgrim Oak has enjoyed great success, and we are confident our new pub in Bulwell will be just as popular.”