A buzz of excitement could be felt in a market town as the new owner of a redundant hotel gave members of the community the chance to discuss plans for the building.

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Iain Wilson, whose company also runs enterprises including Byford’s cafe and B&B in Holt, The Pigs pub, at Edgefield, and part of the Norwich Assembly House, recently bought the Old Brewery House in Reepham

His company has started to draw up phased development plans which could see £3m invested during the next five years.

Under the plans, the establishment will revert to its former name The Dial House, it will consist of a cafe, up to nine “posh” bed and breakfast rooms, a residential conversion and residential new build.

It is planned to do away with the pub and restaurant in its previous form, the 23 budget bedrooms, banqueting hall, sports hall and car park.

People in Reepham were invited to take a look around the building on Friday evening, to take a look at initial plans and speak with Mr Wilson himself.

Scores of people took the opportunity to attend the open event and those there generally welcomed the plans, although many said Reepham was in much need of a new evening eating venue and hoped the planned cafe would fill that gap.

Sue Ivins, 63, from Reepham, said: “I’m very pleased that Iain Wilson has taken this on and it’s going to be fabulous when it’s done and something Reepham needs.

“The market square is so pretty and the current condition of the place is a disgrace to the town. Now we have the opportunity to support a really good venture.”

Steve Jenkins, 59, from Reepham, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea and any new business that’s going to help Reepham is great for the town.

“There will be change, we have to accept that, and if there’s no car park it will put pressure on the existing market place, but overall I think it’s going to be a good thing.”

Mr Wilson explained how The Dial House will be different from Byford’s in Holt and that the cafe could be open by July.

He said: “It’s been a great night - we want to make sure everyone who has views on what we are doing has the chance to share those views.

“I’m convinced we can bring people to Reepham. We want to make The Dial House invididual to the building and individual to the town, it won’t be like Byfords at all.”

Anyone with views on the plans or questions should email info@ournorfolk.org.uk.

8 comments

  • Thank God for the Kings Head. Proper pub proper food and excellent value. By fords has a very undeserved snob value. And the staff have attitude!!

    Report this comment

    MIKEJ

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Well I hope they try a bit harder than they are doing at Byfords. Trip Advisor is full of negative comments about the standard of food, cleanliness and poor staff attitude at Byfords in the last year or two. The general feeling seems to be that they are charging over the top prices for poor service and many, many people say they will not return. Unlike most businesses these days Byfords do not reply to the comments which is very surprising. Personally I was served milk in a jug with congealed milk inside and when I pointed it out to a young assistant she just shrugged.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Let's give Ian and his team a chance , I for one will support them, Reepham needs more businesses and this venture will create jobs .

    Report this comment

    Moira Lane

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Byfords have a quality befitting the londonites that frequent it.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Never had a problem with anything at Byfords, some of the customers are a bit snobby but that goes with the area. I'm glad there's going to be a decent coffee shop closer to home selling decent food at cheaper prices than the big chains. Good luck but you're not going to need it.

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Well I hope they try a bit harder than they are doing at Byfords. Trip Advisor is full of negative comments about the standard of food, cleanliness and poor staff attitude at Byfords in the last year or two. The general feeling seems to be that they are charging over the top prices for poor service and many, many people say they will not return. Unlike most businesses these days Byfords do not reply to the comments which is very surprising. Personally I was served milk in a jug with congealed milk inside and when I pointed it out to a young assistant she just shrugged.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Never had a problem with anything at Byfords, some of the customers are a bit snobby but that goes with the area. I'm glad there's going to be a decent coffee shop closer to home selling decent food at cheaper prices than the big chains. Good luck but you're not going to need it.

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • We have been to Byfords once. we were not at all impressed and felt it was overated and have never been back.They have a captive market at Holt. They will not have that in Repham. However I wish them well .

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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