Gidea Park's The Drill starts work on £265,000 refurbishment
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 January 2020
Copyright (2019) Matt Grayson, all right reserved
A Gidea Park pub is undergoing a major refurbishment to have a "stunning" all-weather garden added to its premises.
Work on a £265,000 refurbishment of The Drill in Brentwood Road began on January 6.
The plans include an all-weather garden with huts, heating, lighting and space for a bouncy castle, and an extension to the kitchen so that the pub can offer a more diverse selection of food.
The exterior of the pub will also be redecorated with new signage.
Kim Fitzgibbon and Wayne Cunningam took over as managers of The Drill two and a half years ago and have worked hard to improve the pub's reputation.
"It's something that we've always wanted to do," said Kim.
"When we took over the pub it was always about giving it back to the community.
"We've been here for about two and a half years and it's become a real hub. It's a lovely environment to be in."
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The couple opened up The Drill for community groups including an allotment committee and a parents' association.
They also launched a host of sports teams and activities such as quiz nights and children's Halloween and Christmas parties.
Kim, who first met Wayne at The Drill when she was working as an assistant manager, is now engaged to her partner.
The work is being undertaken by the owners of the building, Star Pubs & Bars, and the refurbishment is expected to create five new jobs.
Will Rice, Star Pubs & Bars operations director, said: "Kim and Wayne are passionate about The Drill and creating a great local for residents to enjoy.
"They've put their all into The Drill and have made a fantastic success of transforming its fortunes and restoring it to the heart of the community.
"We're delighted to be investing in The Drill so that they can offer even more.
"We're working flat out to ensure the garden is open well in time for the spring. It will be stunning."
Kim expects that the pub will have to close for around five days in March and the project is expected to finish in mid-March.