Blaenavon’s Lion Hotel reopens to roar of approval
The Lion Hotel in Blaenavon has reopened following an extensive renovation that has transformed the formerly derelict building into a high-quality hotel with four star facilities.
Located in Blaenavon town centre, the hotel has 12 rooms, a fully equipped wellness suite and a 90 cover restaurant and bar, serving quality local produce.
Managing director Paul Jones, who has run his own construction company in Blaenavon for the last 28 years, has brought in husband and wife team Eva NovaKova and David Waine as manager and head chef respectively. Mr Waine has previously worked as a chef in the Methuen Arms in Corsham, and the Beckford Arms in Fonthill, Gifford, which was voted one of the top 50 gastro pubs in the UK.
In total, the business has created eight new jobs.
Mr Jones originally purchased the building back in 2008, however, the economic climate at the time prevented him from turning the building into a viable business.
With the economy improving, he sought support from Torfaen council, which helped him to secure £205,000 from the Welsh Government’s Heads of the Valley Strategic Regeneration Area Programme for the external improvement of the building, and also project managed the external renovation.
The project has also received financial support from Visit Wales.
Mr Jones said: “I was born and brought up in Blaenavon and have always thought the town would benefit from a high quality hotel and restaurant. I bought the building itself around six years ago but unfortunately the economy took a turn for the worst just afterwards and I wasn’t able to take the project forward.
“Fortunately things have been improving and, with support from organisations such as Torfaen council and Visit Wales, I have been able to tap into the funding and support needed to get the hotel up and running.
“We now have a hotel, restaurant and bar, and wellness suite that meets Visit Wales’ four star standards, and I hope that as well as bringing more tourists to the area, it will be something that the whole community can enjoy. We also cater for weddings, and as the business grows we hope to expand the workforce and create more jobs.”
Councillor Bob Wellington, leader of Torfaen council, said: “It is fantastic to see the Lion Hotel brought back into use. Not only will it increase the level and quality of the visitor accommodation in the area, but it will contribute to the tourism potential of the town centre and wider World Heritage Site. It will also help to drive additional footfall to local businesses.”
The opening of the Lion Hotel sees yet another new business opening in Blaenavon. Since Christmas, a range of new shops have opened including Chef in the Freezer, Artie Craftie, 2 Jane’s Antiques & Collectables and Coffi 1860. In the week running up to this year’s World Heritage Day, which takes place on Saturday 28th June, participating traders in the town will have a range of special offers available for customers.
Wedi ei bostio ar Dydd Gwener 27th Mehefin 2014