Owners of Ingham Swan which was devastated by fire reveals when it will reopen
The refurbishment of the fire-ravaged Ingham Swan will not be completed until the new year, its owners have confirmed, dashing their hopes of having the business back on its feet by Christmas.
Owners Greg Adjemian and chef Daniel Smith have said the “complex” process of rebuilding a grade II listed building is to blame for the delay, but they intend to fulfil their promise of being back on their feet within 18 months of the blaze.
Mr Adjemian said: “It’s no one thing in particular; a rebuild is a complex process. It’s taking longer than expected, but we just have to accept that.”
Not every part of the £1m rebuild has gone according to plan, as proposals to convert the first floor of the building to four en-suite rooms was turned down by north Norfolk District Council.
Mr Adjemian said: “We understand why this decision was made, and have planning permission to convert a cottage a few doors down to rooms, meaning we’ll now have seven bedrooms instead of 11.”
The blaze at the 1,000 square foot building brought home the importance of having comprehensive insurance, which covered the cost of the rebuild, said Mr Adjemian.
“Security and stability of our other businesses has been important, making sure that they are protected and working with industry experts to ensure they can continue to be successful and grow,” he added.
Since the fire on September 11 last year, which was caused by an electrical fault, the Ingham Swan’s 15 members of staff have had the opportunity to work in the pair’s two other venues, The Wildebeest at Stoke Holy Cross, and the Warwick Street Social in Norwich.
Mr Adjemian said: “We had to say to some of the chefs coming through our chef academy to make the most of opportunities, because they couldn’t wait for the Ingham Swan to reopen.
“But a lot of our younger staff have taken up work in our other venues, and we’ve seen them diversify their experience and skills because of it.”
The business partners said they were looking forward to welcoming customers back.
“I think we underestimated how loyal are customers are – the question on all of our regular customers’ lips is ‘When will the Swan be back?’,” said Mr Adjemian.