From the Dover Express, 14 September, 2006. Exclusive
report by Laura Smith
Derelict eyesore to get £1.5m makeover
SNOOPS REVIVED BY PUB CHAIN'S U-TURN
A DERELICT Dover nightclub is set for a multi-million pound makeover after
an extraordinary U-turn by its owner, a national pub chain.
JD Wetherspoons bought Snoops in Castle Street in early 2003, with
the aim of refurbishing the building. But in February 2005, with no sign
of work starting, the company revealed its plans had collapsed and put
the site up for sale.
Now, in a further twist, the for sale board has been removed from
Snoops, and London-based firm Tuffin, Ferraby and Taylor have been
appointed by Wetherspoons as architects and project managers for its
Subject to planning consent, it is hoped work will begin next summer,
with the venue opening in early 2008.
The project is expected to cost £1.5 million with the potential to
create more than 50 jobs when finished. A spokesman for Wetherspoons
told the Express there was "no one reason" for the turnabout.
He said: "You are right, We changed our minds on it.
"From our point of view it is a well known site and Wetherspoons will
always take another look at things."
The chain had attracted criticism over its upkeep of the building,
which operated as a cinema, owned by Granada and later ABC, until 1982.
Dover District Council threatened enforcement action after members
called e site an "abominable eyesore" and raised concerns about the poor
condition of its structure.
Previously, a section of the venue's foyer had collapsed, sending
debris crashing onto the pavement.
Castle ward's Cllr Nigel Collor toured the building with Wetherspoons
representatives earlier this year.
He said: "In its day it was a splendid building and now is just a
shell of its former glory. It wants a lot of money spent on it and I
would be interested to see the plans."
Dover already has one Wetherspoons outlet, in Cannon Street.
It is believed the new venue could be used as a "Lloyds
bar" which, in contrast to the pub, would have music.