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Grade II listed The Cross Keys pub in Canterbury which dates back to 18th century to get £650k makeover

An ambitious transformation of an 18th century pub from a “tired drinker’s local” to a “modern and quirky” inn will take place after lockdown.

The £650,000 project at The Cross Keys in Canterbury has been stalled by the pandemic, having previously hit a stumbling block when a 20ft-deep shaft collapsed in the men’s toilets.

The derelict Cross Keys pub in Canterbury
The derelict Cross Keys pub in Canterbury

But its owners, Star Pubs and Bars, says it is excited about starting the works and is already searching for a new tenant to take on the Oaten Hill boozer.

Eye-catching CGIs on its website show how the Grade II-listed building could look after the makeover, for which planning permission has already been secured.

Star Pubs says it hopes the renovation will “expand the pub’s target demographic” and appeal to the thousands of university students in the city.

On its website, it says: “Transformational works will reposition The Cross Keys from a tired drinker’s local into a modern and quirky space, perfect for the town’s discerning customers and growing student population.

“Inside, the trade area will be decorated with an attractive mix of vintage prints, illuminated signage and upcycled furniture.

A CGI of the proposed Cross Keys makeover
A CGI of the proposed Cross Keys makeover

“An exciting food and drink offering will create income streams at all points of the day and expand the pub’s target demographic.

“This tasteful refurbishment will inject modern character into The Cross Keys, giving it the ability to trade at all points of the day and generate multiple income streams.

“With premium features, a brand new bar servery, flatscreen TVs, and a private rear bar area, The Cross Keys will now be able to host any occasion in stunning surroundings.”

As part of the project, the pub will offer six “boutique letting rooms” on the two floors above.

A spokesman for Star Pubs said: “We have exciting plans for the Cross Keys in Canterbury and look forward to commencing work when government restrictions allow.

How the Cross Keys could look after refurbishment
How the Cross Keys could look after refurbishment

“We are also interested to hear from potential operators who might be interested in taking this pub, or any of our other planned refurbishments.”

The pub has an annual rent of £48,750 and an estimated turnover of close to half-a-million pounds a year.

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