Ostrich begins recruiting as conversion to “inn” expected complete by end of the Summer

The Ostrich’s conversion to hotel complex could be complete by the end of the Summer, and recruitment of new positions has already got under way.

The Ostrich function room will be divided to form new bedroom accommodation.

The Ostrich function room will be divided to form new bedroom accommodation.

The Ostrich’ transformation into a hotel complex is expected to be complete by the end of the Summer following its approval by the Council on 30th June.

Refurbishment of the derelict western wing of the newly styled Ostrich Inn and remodelling upstairs will create 11 en-suite hotel rooms, allowing the pub to return to its historic roots as a hostelry and coaching inn.

Revised drawings were submitted to address comments by Historic England, which urged minor changes to the designs to preserve ancient features of the building.  Satisfying modern accommodation requirements in the chaotic layout of the old building has not been easy.

Historic England, however, wrote in full support of bringing the derelict wing back into use and the need to address structural issues.  As did Berkshire Archeology, which stressed the importance of the Grade II* listed building.

The Ostrich is undoubtedly one of England’s most important surviving historic inns, though much of its true importance as a superb example of Tudor timber-framing is obscured behind sensational myth and legend.

Despite 20th century modifications “which have, at times, been desctructive”, the building preserves much interest and potential.  As such the pub’s owners, Shepherd Neame, have been required to ensure an approved programme of archaeological investigation in order to identify, investigate, and record features of archaeological interest, prior to work commencing on the (current) 500 year old building.

No public representations were received relating to the remodelling plans submitted as part of the application.

A recruitment drive is already under way to fill new positions created by its new guest accommodation with an assistant manager “with bags of personality, first class communication skills, and previous supervisory experience” sought for an immediate start.  The successful candidate will support the recruitment, training, development and daily management of a team of up to 15 staff.

 

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