A village pub has temporarily closed for a £200,000 refurbishment.

The Newborough Arms in Bontnewydd is being revamped by Star Pubs & Bars Ltd, Heineken’s pub business, and its new licensee Steven Hughes. It will reopen at the end of this month in time for Halloween.

Steven took on The Newborough Arms on a temporary holding basis in June 2022. Since then he has painted and tidied it up and doubled trade. He has also created five jobs, with more planned once the pub reopens.

Steven said: “I wasn’t intending to take on the lease but the support from the community has changed my mind. I have now taken it on and together with Star am investing in giving locals the pub they deserve. We’re taking it to a new level, making the surroundings smarter and more comfortable while retaining its character.”

Funds are being spent on a sympathetic redecoration of the interior. Green, grey and blue décor and traditional furniture will create a welcoming look and feel. This will include a revamped sports bar, the installation of a new wooden bar and back bar, and an opened-up dining area with bi-fold doors leading into the garden. The furniture is being reupholstered as well as new tables and chairs added.

Externally The Newborough Arms is being given a complete makeover, redecorated in stone and midnight blue with new lighting and red, grey and gold signage completing the look. The planters are being restocked and the garden is being landscaped and new tables and benches installed, increasing covers to 84. The large carpark for 50 cars is being retained.

Steven added: “We’ll be continuing to offer great pub food and the same drinks as that’s what the villagers like and the pub’s weekly activities – including the pub quiz, pool and darts.

“We’d love the local football team to continue to meet up at The Newborough Arms and other community groups will be very welcome. The carpark can still be used for sheep shearing and for the village fete. It will be business as usual but better.

“I’ve been amazed that in spite of the dual carriageway bypassing the village people have started to visit the pub from further afield over the last year. It just shows you that people will travel if the offer is good. Now it will look good as well as deliver what people are looking for in a local. For villagers it will mean having a great pub on their doorstep in walking distance.­

“I am also delighted that all the internal and external signs and menu will be bilingual. It’s great for Welsh speakers and for visitors alike.”

Star Pubs & Bars business development manager Tim Horner said : “Steven is a very good publican – a natural. Having worked in the industry for 29 years, he lives and breathes hospitality. Although at the time only managing it on a temporary basis, he put the heart back into The Newborough Arms, winning over villagers.

“So, we’re delighted to be co-investing with Steven to create a lovely comfortable village pub that the community can be proud of. I feel sure it will go from strength to strength.”