May 25 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 3, 2012
Plans to turn the boarded-up former Ferry Boat pub in King Street into Norwich’s first backpackers’ hostel have stalled.
Jason Borthwick and his father Alister made an appeal last year for investors to come forward to kick-start the project.
They said at the time that they still hoped to start building work last year, but Jason Borthwick said yesterday: “No news currently. Investigating options and hope to have some news soon.”
The Ferry Boat was one of the most popular rock music venues in Norwich before it closed in 2006, and the Grade II listed pub has been vacant ever since.
Plans to turn it into a 200-bed hostel by the Borthwicks, who created the award-winning Deepdale Farm campsite on the north Norfolk coast, were given the go-ahead by city councillors last year.
Bosses said they hoped to fund the project by offering shares, rather than with a bank loan, and proposed offering shares for £1,000 each, with any one customer or business contact allowed to buy up to 100 shares, equalling £100,000.
Jason Borthwick said last year that, assuming all the funding discussions went well and they received lots of investment inquiries, they hoped to start building for opening late in 2013.
They had initially hoped to open the hostel in time to host the European Hostel Conference in April this year, and before the Olympics.
The Borthwicks plan to turn the building into an eco-friendly hostel with cycle and canoe hire and a cafe and tourist information centre.
The main pub will not change much with the downstairs front bar set to become a real ale appreciation shop/bar, selling off-sales with a few beers on tap and the upstairs remaining a flat for tenants.