CONSTRUCTION workers have reached the halfway stage in a £5m project to bring The Ivy restaurant to Oxford High Street.

In January, Beard started to transform the neo-Gothic former NatWest Bank building at 120-122 High Street into the upmarket restaurant and apartments.

The work is due for completion in November and is being carried out on behalf of Lincoln College, which acquired the building from the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2013.

The Grade II-listed structure was originally built in the 1860s as two separate properties, housing J Russell & Co’s piano shop and the London and County Bank.

READ AGAIN: Work starts on former bank to bring The Ivy to Oxford High Street

Beard staff have been working on the ground floor restaurant conversion where many of the building’s original decorative features are being reinstated.

Oxford Mail:

Beard project manager Jonathan Brock said earlier: "We are currently reinstating J Russell & Co’s old piano shop front which had disappeared from the building.

“Construction is also progressing well on the conversion of the upper floors into high quality apartments and the creation of a residential entrance from Alfred Street.

READ AGAIN: Oxford pub The Mitre will close as Lincoln College rebuilds

"The next important phase of the project will be completing the structural alterations and roofing repairs."

Lincoln College Bursar Alex Spain added: “We are pleased to be working with Beard in the renovation of this historic building.”

Oxford Mail:

Beard is an award-winning construction company which operates across the South East, with offices in Oxford, Swindon, Bristol and Guildford.

For decades The Ivy in Covent Garden has been the place for stars of the showbusiness world to be seen and now there are a number of different branches in cities across the country, including Birmingham, Bath, Cambridge and York.

READ AGAIN: Traders in Oxford High Street need a marketing boost

On the other side of the High Street, Lincoln College has been working on a separate renovation project.

Oxford Mail:

The Mitre pub has closed for nine months as part of a two-year refurbishment project which started in January.

Rooms for undergraduates above the former coaching inn are badly in need of an upgrade.

The pub is set to be refurbished as part of the revamp.

One construction worker at the site said: “Some of the student rooms are so small - they really need updating and some of them will now have ensuite bathrooms.

READ AGAIN: Old Bank Hotel boss Jeremy Mogford feeling confident as The Ivy gets ready to open

“The roof is also being replaced – everything is being done very carefully as the building is listed.

“It’s a big project lasting a couple of years – I expect it’s costing millions.”

Oxford Mail:

The college said on the website: “The buildings we call the Mitre, together with Staircase 16, form part of an historic development belonging to Lincoln, at the heart of which is the Mitre Inn.

“Elements of the buildings, notably a ribbed vault, date back to the 13th century.

READ MORE: Police launch investigation into 'explosion' at flats

“The majority of rooms which are used for student accommodation are from a later period, but a good number of these are in 17th and 18th century parts of the building.

Oxford Mail:

“While the Mitre has belonged to the college for centuries, it was first used as student accommodation in the late 1960s.

Oxford Mail:

“The rabbit warren layout and uneven floor levels are familiar to many generations of Lincoln undergraduates, as it has most commonly been used to house second years since then."