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Pub set to close for major revamp

PUBLISHED: 12:55 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:55 23 December 2019

The Bull in Dereham, run by tenant Nigel Barton, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Bull in Dereham, run by tenant Nigel Barton, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise Bradley

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A popular pub is set to close for more than a week as it undergoes a major refurbishment.

Nigel Barton, right, took over as tenant at The Bull in Dereham in March 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley.Nigel Barton, right, took over as tenant at The Bull in Dereham in March 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley.

The Bull, on High Street in Dereham, will shut its doors for 10 days in January before reopening with a brand new look.

Customers can expect new bars at the front and rear of the pub and a complete revamp of the toilets, as well as upgraded lighting and fresh decor throughout the building.

A whole host of additional changes will remain under wraps until the new year.

The programme of work is being paid for by brewery Greene King, but masterminded by tenant Nigel Barton, who took over in March following a period of temporary management.

The Bull, on High Street in Dereham, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Bull, on High Street in Dereham, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise Bradley

"We've been talking about making some changes for a while because we had a very good summer and trade has picked up quite dramatically," said Mr Barton.

"Generally we're going to make the place look better and sort a few upgrades. We don't think there has been any major refurbishment here for about seven or eight years.

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"We've had a really excellent Christmas so far, but the pub just needs updating."

The Bull in Dereham, run by tenant Nigel Barton, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise BradleyThe Bull in Dereham, run by tenant Nigel Barton, is set to close for refurbishment. Picture: Denise Bradley

Having found his feet in a new industry, Mr Barton - a former accountant - vowed in August to turn The Bull into a pub that "appeals to everyone".

Among his priorities was ensuring staffing levels were sufficient in a bid to prevent long waits for food and drink. He now employs 14 members of staff, up from six when he arrived.

He also pledged to work with local businesses, buying and using produce from the Dereham area instead of sourcing it from further afield.

Following a "much better than expected" first few months in charge, Mr Barton believes the pub's continued partnership with Norfolk-based producers has caught the eye.

Nigel Barton, right, took over as tenant at The Bull in Dereham in March 2019. Picture: Denise BradleyNigel Barton, right, took over as tenant at The Bull in Dereham in March 2019. Picture: Denise Bradley

"People are coming back to The Bull because the food is bought from local producers and the vast majority is freshly made in our own kitchen," he added.

"We've seen regulars are coming back simply because it is good quality food and locally sourced - and of course we've had a lot of support from Greene King."

The Bull will be closed from Monday, January 6, until 5pm on Thursday, January 16.

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