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HISTORIC WILLINGTON PUB SET FOR £160,000 REFURBISHMENT

4 November 2021

An historic Willington pub is set to receive a £160,000 refurbishment to restore it to its former glory as a great quality village local and create a covered alfresco area in its popular garden. 

The Green Man in Willington – which dates back to the mid 18th-century – closes its doors from 25th October for the investment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. It will reopen in mid-November just as operator Jane McManamon – who ran the pub from 2002 to 2012 – celebrates her first anniversary back at the helm.  

Jane says she was “heartbroken” when circumstances forced her to leave the pub nine years ago. Says Jane: “I love The Green Man; it has many family connections and happy memories for me. My parents were regulars, and I’ve been coming here since I was seven years old. I was over the moon when it became available just as I was looking for a pub again. It feels like fate to be back. Some of my old regulars were here to welcome me and others have since returned. It’s like I never left.” 

The project will fully renovate the exterior of the Grade ll listed pub and install new lighting, signage and seating at the front to add to the centre of Willington. With high demand for year-round alfresco eating and drinking due to the pandemic, a covered, heated outdoor area will be built behind The Green Man, and there will be seating for 100 people in the garden. New planting, festoon lighting and a revamped south- facing deck will further enhance the garden.  

An extensive makeover will upgrade the inside of the pub throughout, whilst retaining all its character and charm as well as original features such as beams, flagstones and fireplaces. To meet the needs of the whole village, the pub will have a bar for drinking and socialising, a lounge with space for dining, and a sports area fitted out with a new sound system and screens.  

Jane wants to reinstate The Green Man as a  “hub of Willington life”. To that end, she will be starting live music, events and village trips to the races to bring people together and also canvassing regulars for a local charity to support. The new outside area will be opened up to local groups and organisations in need of meeting space. Morning coffees and weekend breakfasts are on the cards for the New Year to cater for the many walkers, dog walkers and cyclists around Willington. 

Unable to open The Green Man last December due to lockdown, Jane is determined to make Christmas 2022 extra special. In addition to hosting brunch with Santa, Jane is reintroducing The Green Man’s tradition of opening all Christmas Day for residents wanting to meet up for a drink.  

Adds Jane: “The Green Man is a well-known pub and a Willington landmark but needs investment to keep it thriving. The plans will bring out all the beauty of the building and give the pub a wonderful garden to match. It’s great news for the Green Man and Willington, and there’s lots of excitement in the village. I feel luckier than ever to be back.” 

Comments Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager Amanda Bloor: “Jane is a fantastic licensee and passionate about The Green Man. She’s already taken the pub to another level since she returned. We want to help her build on that with this investment. The Green Man is full of history and deserves to be preserved for future generations. It’s a gem of a pub and will be really outstanding once the works are completed.” 

Believed to be the oldest pub in Willington, The Green Man housed a grain store and hostelry when it was built in the mid-1700s to service the Trent and Mersey canal. It has also doubled as a mortuary in bygone days. An old mounting block and rings where horses were once tethered can still be seen outside.