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Lakeland inn opens after multi-million-pound redevelopment

Cumbria’s tourism and hospitality sector is being boosted with the opening of landmark Lakes pub with rooms The Coniston Inn.

The historic 42-bed Lakeland inn reopened on Saturday 1 August following the completion of a multi-million pound redesign by owner, award-winning northern pubco The Inn Collection Group.

During the 18-month redevelopment, the group has carried out a complete reform of the traditional Lakeland slate building, which has been a hotel for over a century. The completed inn, which has a unique location directly on the shores of Coniston water, will welcome walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and is family and dog friendly.

Features include direct lake access from the inn’s private jetty and four acres of mature gardens with a pergoda facing the water. Inside, a large drying area has plenty of space for outdoor clothing and storing backpacks and boots.

A redesign of the bar and dining area has opened up airy, open-plan areas for customers to dine or enjoy drinks, while maximising lake and fell views.

Vintage memorabilia and photo murals adorn the interiors, drawing on the inn and Coniston’s heritage including Donald Campbell's record-breaking Bluebird which crashed on Coniston Water in 1967.

A private dining room is available for larger parties or corporate guests, while the step-free dining area, customer lift and accessible rooms make the inn suitable for wheelchair users. A seamless new extension with traditional crafted Lakeland slate and Westmorland roof houses 21 bedrooms, including interconnecting family rooms.

Each of the inn’s en-suite rooms are true to the group’s brand with signature tartan carpets and classic photo prints and include premium water and fell view options.

The inn’s green credentials include a sustainable reed bed water purifying system, a biomass boiler while the kitchen has its own herb garden. Bedrooms have rechargeable lanterns for guests to stroll along the footpath into nearby Coniston village with, once night has fallen.

Husband and wife team John and Anita Dodsworth are general managers of the new Coniston Inn. John said, “It’s been a long time in the making but the end product is second to none. We’ve been waiting for this day for 18 months and seeing the doors finally open fulfils a long-standing dream.

'We are so pleased to see everything we’ve been working on for so long come to life. It will be a great asset both for people living in the community here in the Coniston area and for visitors alike.”

The opening of the expanded Coniston Inn will create a total of 40 new jobs, while the group is also looking to recruit a further 50 people across its expanding portfolio of Lakes sites including The Ambleside Inn at Ambleside, The Swan in Grasmere and The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite.

The Inn Collection Group operations manager, Chris Moor said, “The Coniston Inn is a massive boost for hospitality and tourism in the Lake District and for the local community surrounding the inn itself. We’ve created a real positive in the hospitality industry, generating jobs and actively recruiting.

“As The Inn Collection Group’s debut Lakes acquisition, it’s especially rewarding seeing The Coniston Inn open for business in what truly is one of the most breathtaking and unique addresses in the Lakes and one we as a group looked long and hard for over ten years to find.”

The Coniston Inn will operate on The Inn Collection Group model of providing value-for-money services including accommodation, dining and drinks all day, 365 days a year.

The inn has opened as a Covid-secure site and is VisitEngland’s We’re Good To Go quality assured. It is operating The Inn Collection Group’s 10-step COVID-secure protection programme including table service, social distancing markers and enhanced cleaning programmes.

The Alchemy-backed group’s estate of trading properties includes 14 pubs with rooms in Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire. A further 40-bedroom venue, The Seaburn Inn is currently under construction in Sunderland.

Current winner of the national Publican Awards’ Best Pub Employer for two years running, The Inn Collection Group is recruiting for team members to join The Coniston Inn.