2020 is getting off to a good start for a Derbyshire village with work scheduled to begin on a major refurbishment of its only pub.

The Parks Inn in Harpur Hill closes from 6th January for a £205,000 revamp by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and licensees Kathy Cable and Charlie Smith, who took the reins at the pub in May. The project will transform The Parks into a great quality, family-friendly local and introduce home-made food. Work is expected to take four weeks, and the pub to reopen in mid-February, creating five new jobs.

The 1800s pub was one of Harpur Hill’s first buildings and is named after the area opposite where people once parked their wagons and carts. The investment will restore and repaint the outside and add new lighting and signage to make The Parks an attractive village landmark once again. The little-used garden will be landscaped and planted, and a new terrace with festoon lighting and seating for 46 added so that customers can enjoy the stunning views. As the Monsal trail runs behind the pub, Kathy and Charlie are also converting an outbuilding into a covered area where cyclists can leave and clean their bikes.

The inside of The Parks will be sympathetically restored and redecorated throughout in a traditional style and made comfortable and welcoming. A kitchen refit will enable Kathy and Charlie to offer freshly prepared food. The menu will use locally sourced produce from nearby farms and cater for all occasions, from light lunches to special occasion meals. To ensure the quality of the drinks is on a par with the quality of the food, the couple is investing in a cellar overhaul and installing state-of-the-art dispense equipment to guarantee consistently excellent draft beer and cider. An extended drinks range will feature cask ales, craft beers, premium spirits and carefully selected wines. With no coffee shop in Harpur Hill, good coffee will be served all day.

Kathy and Charlie want The Parks to be a focal point of Harpur Hill life and a place for residents to come together. To that end, they are upgrading the pool table and planning numerous activities from beer festivals and family fun days to evening entertainment. Since taking over, the duo has raised £700 for Derbyshire Air Ambulance and further charity fundraisers for local good causes are on the agenda.

Kathy and Charlie have a combined total of more than 50 years experience in the hospitality industry and were most recently licensees of The Kings Head in Bonsall. Says Charlie: “We wanted a new challenge and fell in love with The Parks as soon as we saw it. It has so much potential. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from residents; they were concerned for The Parks’ future and really value the role a good local can play in their community. We want to give them a pub they can be proud of and a great place to go on their doorsteps so they don’t have to travel further afield.”

Adds Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Derbyshire, Alun Johnson:  “Kathy and Charlie have done a terrific job since taking over. The Parks is tired and needs investment but, despite that, they’ve already doubled the number of customers. With all the new housing in the area, there is even more demand for a good local. We’re delighted to be investing with Kathy and Charlie to broaden The Parks’ appeal so that it continues to stand the test of time.”