Former pub to be transformed into flats and shops in £500k facelift
A former pub which closed down earlier this year could be given a new lease of life under plans give the three-storey building a near £500,000 facelift.
The Red Fort pub had been empty since it shut in March, but bookmakers Paddy Power took over part of the building and is set to open a shop next month.
Plans have been submitted to Sandwell Council by landlord Tony Sanghera to turn the first and second floor into five apartments.
The plans also propose to create two business premises on the ground floor, while an extension will connect the old pub to the nearby garage buildings.
Mr Sanghera said they would be putting around £300,000 into the regeneration of the building, while Paddy Power were ploughing around £180,000 into the shop.
He said: "The main area of the pub has been taken over by Paddy Power but we would also like to create two business premises on the ground floor.
"Hopefully it will give a few people the chance to start up something new. We have already been in talks with a couple of people about them starting up a business there, but nothing has been signed yet.
"We had been approached by some people to open the building again as a pub, but to be honest they were nowhere near the calibre of people we wanted to be running a pub."
Mr Sanghera said something had to be done to the garage buildings behind the former pub.
He said: "They were the stables for the old pub and they are in a poor state, they need to come down really.
"So we thought we would create some apartments in the first and second floor and hopefully give a new business a chance in the area with the two spaces on the ground floor.
"Paddy Power have said they were going to put almost £180,000 into refurbishing the area and we're going to put about £300,000 in, so it's almost half a million pounds of regeneration for the area."
Local councillor Linda Horton said she would welcome the building coming back into use.
She said: "Depending on what they are used for I think it is good to have them being used.
"I would much rather see facilities and shops open than being left closed.
"As the local councillor, we get a list of any planning applications in our patch and I haven't had a proper look through the plans yet, but I haven't had anyone get in touch with me to object to the plans.
"Having two more shops open would go towards it being a thriving area."
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