Building work is delayed at site of former Norwich pub

Building work has been delayed at Norwich's first backpackers' hostel and bosses said they did not know when it would open.

Bosses hoped to start work last year to turn the former Ferry Boat pub into a backpackers' hostel, after plans were given the go-ahead by city councillors.

The former King Street pub, which is a grade II listed building, is set to be turned into a 200-bed hostel by Alister Borthwick and his son Jason, who created the award-winning Deepdale Farm campsite on the north Norfolk coast.

But Jason Borthwick said this week: 'Sad to say that there isn't really anything new to report. We are still awaiting an answer from the planners about our pre-construction conditions, so don't know when we'll start building or when we'll open.

'We might get the formal go-ahead from the planners this month, but we are not holding our breath as we thought we were nearing the end before.'

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The pub, near the Riverside complex, has been sitting empty for about six years, and the owners were hoping that the hostel would be open by next month in time to host the European Hostel Conference. The Borthwicks plan to turn the building into an eco-friendly hostel with cycle and canoe hire and a cafe and tourist information centre.

The main pub will not change much with the downstairs front bar set to become a real ale appreciation shop/bar, selling off-sales with a few beers on tap and the upstairs remaining a flat for tenants.

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