COUNCILLORS have wished a new-look Haddington pub success following a £250,000 refurbishment.

The former Railway Hotel, on the corner of Haddington's Court Street and Hope Park, has been transformed into a ‘dining pub’ called The Bell.

And at a meeting of East Lothian Council’s licensing board in Haddington, councillors wished the new venture - which has now opened - well.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, a North Berwick Coastal ward member, said: “It is good to see a significant investment being made in a local business.”

And Councillor John McMillan, provost and local ward member, said at the meeting: “Hopefully this is successful – I wish you well.”

READ MORE: End of the line for The Railway

Licensing board members agreed unanimously to approve a major alteration to the licence, which included adding restaurant facilities and the provision that young people would be permitted until 10pm.

Rudi Fruzynski, licensing standards officer, said the premises had been previously well run, and he saw no problems with the alterations to the licence, which also included the change of name.

Niall Hassard, the legal director representing pub owners Greene King, described the new venture as “a holistic business offer” and praised long-time former tenant Hamish Colgan, who had been in charge of The Railway for the best part of three decades before retiring.

The new dining pub promises “great food in a relaxed atmosphere”, plus a new sports bar upstairs.

Last month, the scrapping of the pub’s old name sparked debate. Paul Darling, from the town’s community council, said: “I don’t think the new name will go down particularly well in some quarters.”