£170,000 investment for Nether Heage pub

NRHN 16-08-12 BE 19 Spanker inn, Neather Heage. Malcolm MacPhee punch Taverns, new licensee Tim Turner and Chris Webb Punch catering development manager.
NRHN 16-08-12 BE 19 Spanker inn, Neather Heage. Malcolm MacPhee punch Taverns, new licensee Tim Turner and Chris Webb Punch catering development manager.

A country pub in Nether Heage is set to receive a £170,000 makeover, as a young entrepreneur steps in to take over as licensee.

The Spanker Inn will be closing on August 21 for three weeks while major refurbishment work is carried out.

The improvements are being carried out by Burton-based pub company Punch Taverns as part of a nationwide plan to improve the quality of some of its more successful venues.

The pub chain has appointed Tim Turner, aged 28, who also runs The Greyhound in Whitemoor, Belper, to take over the reins at the venue.

He said: “It is great to be a part of this Punch Taverns investment – the Spanker is a diamond of a pub and we will make it sparkle.

“Anyone who goes into the pub trade should expect the best, with a brewery that is committed to you and a deal that is not just going to fall to pieces and that is what Punch are offering here.

“Everyone is really excited – the place is going to be unrecogniseable – but definitely in a good way.

“The team and I are eager to see the new look, and we look forward to welcoming everyone, old or new, to the pub.”

Mr Turner has previously run pubs in Whatstandwell and Lincoln and is hoping that he will be able to add a third venue to his collection in the coming months.

As reported in the Belper News at the beginning of August, The Greyhound also recently sponsored two football kits at Ambergate FC.

He continued: “I’m an entrepreneurial kind of guy and I hope there will be another pub in the pipeline.

“We will be putting on fundraising activities at the Spanker – I’m keen to have a business that involves everybody in the community.”

Ten staff, many of whom previously worked at the venue, as well as two managers will be employed at the pub.

Punch Taverns Business Relationship Manager Matthew Gaunt, said: “Tim has a proven track record at The Greyhound in Belper and experience within the hospitality industry.

“We are confident that Tim’s new ideas will allow the Spanker to grow.

“We are really excited about the investment and we can’t wait to see the finished results.”

The pub, situated on Spanker Lane, will receive a full internal decoration as well as new furniture and fittings.

It is one of a small proportion of Punch Taverns which has been selected for investment.

During the first 40 weeks of this financial year the chain sold 349 pubs together with other assets for net proceeds of £95 million.

It is believed that the Nether Heage pub was named after a 17th century racehorse called ‘Spanker’.

Spanker was said to be “the best horse to run at Newmarket” during the reign ofCharles II.

The term ‘spanker’ was also a common expression in Victorian times to refer to any fine person or animal.

An official launch week will be held at the pub from September 13.