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28 February 2020

A Derbyshire village’s only pub is to a receive a £290,000 investment to secure its future and help it thrive again.

The refurbishment of The White Hart in Stanley will transform the tired local into a great quality pub and introduce excellent home-cooked food. The project is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and first-time licensee Georgina Eley, who grew up in Stanley and will be supported in the venture by her dad, John Eley, a regular of the pub for 40 years.

Work starts on 24th February and The White Hart is scheduled to reopen in early April, creating 10 new jobs.

The project will renovate and repaint the outside of the building and install new signage, lighting and café-style seating at the front so that The White Hart is an attractive landmark of Stanley. In order to take advantage of the beautiful views, a stunning terrace will be added behind the pub complete with booth seating and new planting plus festoon lighting and heaters for year-round use.

The revamp will upgrade the pub’s inside throughout, making it comfortable and welcoming whilst retaining its character and original features such as flagstone floors, wooden beams and an open fire. The toilets and conservatory will be replaced and, with a shortage of function space in the area, the function room will receive a makeover, too. 

Georgina plans to build a reputation for great food and drink. A new kitchen and dining area will enable the introduction of freshly prepared food. The menu will focus on pub favourites like steak pies and ham, egg & chips and use locally sourced produce from Derbyshire farms. For those just wanting to enjoy drinks and socialising, there will be a spacious bar and a wide choice of drinks with premium spirits and wines, cask ales, craft beers and good coffee. To ensure consistently excellent draught beer and cider, Georgina is also overhauling the cellar and installing state-of-the-art dispense equipment.

Georgina wants The White Hart to be a hub of Stanley and will hold regular activities and events including quiz nights, music evenings and family fun days. There will be fundraisers in aid of charities chosen by regulars and residents, and the function room will be made available to community groups and good causes in need of meeting space. With the Euros coming up, Georgina is putting in Sky Sports and will host village screenings in the function room.

Says Georgina, who has been running the pub on a temporary basis since October: “The White Hart played a central part in local life throughout my childhood and I’ve got lots of happy memories of it. But it has changed hands many times over the last few years and lost its way. We want to give it a new lease of life and the investment, stability and TLC it needs to become the heart of the village again, as well as attract people from further afield.”

Comments Alun Johnson, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Derbyshire: “We’re delighted that Georgina and John are taking the helm at The White Hart. As former regulars, they understand what residents want and the changes required to put the pub on the map. The White Hart will be a really lovely traditional village pub once the work is completed and a destination in its own right. We’re working flat out to reopen it well in time for Easter so that people can enjoy the gorgeous new terrace in the Spring.”

Star Pubs & Bars acquired The White Hart from Punch Taverns in 2018.