Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland bar transformed into kids' nursery with £400k investment

Reborn: Planters Tavern
Reborn: Planters Tavern

By Mark McConville

A Co Down bar and restaurant that closed down last year is set to reopen on Monday, July 29 as a children's nursery after a £400,000 investment.

The Planters Tavern in Waringstown closed its kitchen in April 2018 with the chef and front of house staff moved to the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown, which is also owned by Paula and Darren Gilbert.

There was a promise from the owners at the time that the building would be put to a use which would serve the community in Waringstown.

Now the former pub will welcome children in its new life as Wonder World Daycare, where play sets rather than pints will be the most popular item on the menu.

The new childcare facility can accommodate up to 97 kids at one time, aged between 12 weeks to 12 years old.

After "extensive" research, Jane and Neil Hamilton, directors of ND Childcare Ltd, discovered there was a "much-needed demand" for a childcare facility in the area to help young and growing families.

This was due to the growth and development of Waringstown in recent years.

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Jane said: "With many years of experience and a background in childcare management, I saw this as a great opportunity to design a unique building that will benefit each and every child, along with the local community as Wonder World Daycare plans to create up to 25 jobs and provide business to other local firms."

With the closure of The Planters in April 2018, the design and planning began with McCreanor Architects, leading to the construction work beginning in October 2018.

The building has undergone a complete refurbishment with changes such as the kitchen/bar being completely taken out and turned into an internal courtyard.

A large outdoor space was also completed with artificial grass leading on to an area of natural play.

From the old entrance to the sports bar, including upstairs, the space has been converted into six colourful play rooms.

The Planters had been at the centre of village life - a location for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries - in its present location for at least 40 years.

It is thought it operated in its earliest incarnation as a coaching house a short distance away from its present site as far back as 1700.

It was named after The Planters House, a thatched roof cottage just outside the village pre-dating 1700.

Belfast Telegraph

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