New lease of life for village restaurant

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The Planters Tavern in Waringstown is being given a new lease of life with what was described as a ‘significant six figure sum’ being invested to turn it into a Creche/Day Nursery.

A planning application has been submitted for a change of use for the landmark building in Waringstown and confirms rumours circulating in the village, near Lurgan, Co Armagh, of the new use.

Last month the owners of the Planters - Darren and Paula Gilbert - had announced the popular bar/restaurant was to close but at that time had vowed the building would be ‘put to community use’.

Staff from the bar are being transferred to the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown, where the Gilberts are also investing heavily.

In the planning application for the Planters, as well as a change of use, demolition and alteration works have also been applied for.

The nursery will include five activity rooms with associated staff and ancillary accommodation.

Mr Gilbert said: “We looked at the needs of the local area and felt there are no child care facilities in the village.

“We promised we would put the building to community use and this is the fulfilment of that promise.”

He went on to point out: “We are investing a significant six figure sum in the project.

“It will be run by a fully qualified management team.”

Speaking at the time of the closure announcement Mr Gilbert said: “Business costs at the Planters are simply too high and we are making a conscious decision to consolidate at the Seagoe.“