The Wheatsheaf Inn High Wycombe to be turned into cocktail and tapas bar
It's official - a historic High Wycombe town centre pub will be overhauled into a cocktail and tapas bar.
Exciting plans to carefully restore the 14th century former Wheatsheaf Inn pub at 2 and 3 High Street were unveiled earlier this year.
And Buckinghamshire Council has finally said yes to the idea of renovating it and turning it into a bar and community area.
The ground floor of the Grade-II listed building will become a mixology/tapas bar serving "unique" cocktails and "British local produce tapas" throughout the week.
The first floor will have a "mixology/speakeasy" use from Thursday to Sunday, with opportunities for community use from Monday to Wednesday.
The second floor will be mainly for community use.
It has been a good week for reviving the town centre - as it was revealed earlier this week that much-loved fast food chain Wimpy will also be moving into White Hart Street.
Many people have been awaiting the news about the Wheatsheaf Inn overhaul, but culture chief at Buckinghamshire Council Cllr Patrick Hogan said the journey to restoration has been "long and deliberate" since the Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust (BHBT) began negotiating with the former Wycombe District Council, which eventually invested in its purchase, to free the Trust's funds for future refurbishment.
Dating in part from 1399, the three-storey timber framed building has been largely empty since the 1960s, except for use as two shops on the ground floor, and is High Wycombe's second oldest recorded building behind All Saints Church.
"None of this just happens" said Cllr Hogan. "This has been an excellent collaboration between a considerable number of people - the Trust’s team of historic building experts, architects, surveyors, structural engineers and cost and business consultants, as well as the council's officers, with the support of council members."
Patrick said the council's Conservation Officer, Sarah Oborn, has a keen eye for neglected buildings warranting restoration and had felt the building could be rejuvenated for a use that revealed its past and showcased its history, and had drawn it to the Trust’s attention, feeling it would be the right body to do the work.
The Trust then successfully bid for an Architectural Heritage Fund grant, and with the planning green light, can start work on the restoration 'Wheatsheaf Project'.
"We have our meticulous Heritage and Conservation team to thank for a strong guiding hand in protecting another piece of the town's history," said Cllr Hogan, “having already seen their hand at work in the preservation of Brunel's Engine Shed by the station.”
“These two projects contribute to the uplift of the town centre’s historic quarter being at either end and act as a catalyst for heritage led regeneration,” says Cllr Hogan's cabinet colleague, Steve Bowles, cabinet member for town centre regeneration.
While 2-3 served the town as The Wheatsheaf Inn during the 17th century and a coffee house in the 18th, its position close to the church and market-place suggests it may have originally been a guildhall, market house, or connected with the church.
In the early 20th century the shop became The Old Wheatsheaf Pharmacy and later served the historic High Street as a tobacconist and dry cleaners.
Dr James Moir, who chairs the BHBT, said the 'Wheatsheaf' was being designed to meet the need to improve the town centre's night time offer to young commuters and students, as well as becoming a busy hub for community users during the day.
"We’re excited, through this successful partnership with Buckinghamshire Council, to be creating a focal community space which will delight in using its heritage as a means of encouraging everyone to linger in and cherish the town’s historic quarter," said Dr Moir.
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Bucks Free Press
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Last updated by System Admin on 27th August, 2018