The historic Lamb & Flag pub in Oxford is now expected to reopen in the autumn.

The pub in St Giles, owned by St John's College, closed suddenly at the beginning of last year after its takings fell during the pandemic.

But a community interest group called the Inklings then stepped in to take over the pub and renovations have been taking place.

Read again: Lamb & Flag reopening is delayed 

Oxford Mail:

The group's organisers had hoped the pub would be ready to reopen this summer, but the opening date has repeatedly been postponed as renovation work has taken longer than expected.

Now Dave Norwood, who helps to run the community interest group, said the team is now aiming for September 1.

He said the date 'would be a challenge' but added that the whole team was now working towards it.

Mr Norwood said earlier that the renovations inside the pub had proved more complex than first expected.

He said: "The renovation work required to make the pub fit for 2022 and beyond was more extensive than we initially expected, and we have learned more along the way.

Oxford Mail:

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"Everyone agrees that the toilets are a transformation, but we are still grappling with the kitchen and extraction, the electrics,

"Due to the Grade II listing of the pub, and its historical significance as an Oxford landmark, some of these improvements inevitably require listed building consent.

"The protections are especially high, given the pub is within the Central Oxford Conservation Area."

Mr Norwood said earlier the city council has been 'helping and guiding us through this complex process'.

Oxford Mail:

He added: "I think they are keen to see the pub reopen as much as we are, and seem genuinely enthused that we’ve come together as a community venture.  

"I’m also delighted that we have engaged Anoushka Rowland Payne as a consultant to secure all the permissions and oversee the completion of the project."

Ms Payne confirmed the September 1 date was the target.

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She said: "September 1 is very much our intention, and we are working round the clock to have it ready for that date. 

"The pub is undergoing some much-needed repair and maintenance work, at the same time as a restoration of its interiors."

Oxford Mail:

Dave Richardson, of the Oxford branch of real ale group CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) said he was pleased to learn the proposed reopening date.

He added: "Although there is no obvious sign of work going on, we hope behind the scenes they are working hard to reopen the pub as soon as possible.

"We are sure the Lamb & Flag will regain its place as one of Oxford's top pubs serving local beers."

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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