A VILLAGE pub which has been closed for nearly two years will reopen its doors next month after a major refurbishment.

The Winton Arms, Pencaitland, was taken over by Caledonian Heritable Ltd in 2019 and has been closed while building work has been carried out.

At a virtual meeting of East Lothian Council's licensing board on Thursday, members were told it was expected to reopen mid-July and would operate as a restaurant with a bar, with a focus on Scottish produce.

Caledonian applied for a major variation to the operating licence for the Winton Arms to allow conference facilities and a range of events, from wedding ceremonies to quiz nights and comedy performances, to be held.

They also applied for permission to provide outdoor dining and allow children of all ages access to the new facility.

Karen Harling, the council’s licensing standards officer, told the board that she had visited the new building ahead of its reopening and had no objections to the changes to the licence, although she asked that outdoor areas be restricted to use between 10am and 10pm.

She said that the pub’s previous layout had been for a “vertical drinking establishment”, with children not allowed access, but it had been changed, adding that the introduction of the restaurant had reduced capacity from about 250 to 149 at any given time.

READ MOREHopes of reopening Pencaitland's Winton Arms soon

The board heard that one objection had been received raising concern about the increased traffic at the Winton Arms, which is on the village's Main Street.

Graeme Arnott, from Caledonian Heritable, said that concerns had been taken on board.

Police Constable Graham Bairden told the board that there were no police objections to the licence changes for the Winton Arms, pointing out that Caledonian Heritable had carried out similar refurbishment work on the Ship Inn, Musselburgh.

He said: “I have worked with regards to the Ship Inn, which is a very well-run premises, and have no objections.”