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Derby, Derbyshire
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Bell Hotel announce opening date after 1.2 million restoration

Published On Tuesday 30 Jun 2015 by Sticky Beak
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Derby’s iconic Old Bell Hotel is set to reopen on July 4th after a mammoth 2 year restoration. The 375 year old former coaching inn will boast four bars as well as its recently opened, award winning, fine dining restaurant Zest.

The bars will have 14 Real Ales on draught as well as a large selection of speciality craft beers and ciders.  An exciting new food menu will also be on offer.

Owner Paul Hurst said “ We are absolutely delighted to finally be opening the doors of this much loved building, its been a huge project  and has taken longer than anticipated as it was in such a sorry state with parts of the building in danger of collapse, but when you look at it today it is spectacular and will once again be at the centre of the community and be somewhere for people of all ages to enjoy”

Once considered to be one of the most prestigious coaching Inns in the Midlands The Old Bell has several function rooms including its ornate Grand Regency Ballroom.

The opening will bring with it 40 new jobs Paul  commented “ this is the icing on the cake for me the restoration has put over £800,000 back into the local economy  as we employed Derby based businesses to complete the works and now we are creating new jobs and new careers for people”

One of those new employees is Louise Luckett who takes on the Events and GM role.  Louise, who previously worked at the Assembly Rooms, said “ I have followed the restoration over the last couple of years and I cant believe the transformation, its great when we show people around when they are booking weddings and parties, the look on their faces when they walk into the function rooms is brilliant, all you hear is wow !and I guess this sums up the work that has been done by Paul and his dedicated team of craftsmen”

The opening promises to be a huge celebration of the buildings history with a full day of entertainment , a stage coach with local people chosen to perform the opening ceremony will travel down Irongate and Sadler gate before pulling up outside the iconic coaching Inn. The town crier will perform an ale tasting ceremony before allowing the opening to take place. The original Belfry Bar Bell will officially ring to proclaim the Inn open.

The public will then be able to access the building to see all the work that has been done, entertainment will be on throughout the afternoon. In the evening an 80’s and 90’s night will keep the festivities going on into the early hours of the morning.


Paul Hurst said “ this just shows that we don’t have to sit and watch our listed buildings fall apart, through the great work of  the DCC regeneration and conservation teams and English Heritage we have worked together to restore the Old bell Inn and put £800,000 back into the local economy, deliver  40 new jobs and create something really special for our city”

Paul intends to take a few months off after dedicating 2 years full time on the project. He has however hinted he is already looking at other iconic Derby buildings that need urgent attention and that can be restored and bring huge boosts to the economy.

The opening was welcomed by Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter Board, which drives forward activities under the area’s Business Improvement District (BID) status.

He said: “The Old Bell Hotel is a jewel in the Cathedral Quarter and particularly Sadler Gate which has started to come back to the fore as one of the most iconic and popular streets in Derby city centre.

“The BID has been fully behind Paul’s plans for the building and we are delighted that his vision and hard work has come to fruition.

“The opening of the ground floor of the Old Bell further strengthens the Cathedral Quarter’s aim to be a destination that is unique, diverse and inspiring and will help to put this area firmly back on the map for local people and visitors alike.”