12 jobs created as Fenland hotel that was once a garage and cafe undergoes six-figure refurbishment and expansion plan

Managing director Tim Gibb at Crown Lodge, Outwell

Managing director Tim Gibb at Crown Lodge, Outwell - Credit: Archant

A growing hotel and restaurant will take on up to 12 new staff as part of a six-figure refurbishment and expansion plan.

The Crown Lodge Hotel at Outwell, which incorporates The Moorings Restaurant, has so far completed the refurbishment of four of its 10 rooms, with plans for a further eight new rooms on the drawing board.

Managing director Tim Gibb said the business has come a long way under owner William Moore since its early days as a garage and cafe, with the next stage of evolution promising to build on its successful food operation.

“The owner is Claridges trained, so back in the 1970s we joke that he was serving 5-star beans on toast,” he added. “The original rooms back then were often used by local fishermen, but now it’s great to see how they have evolved to the standard and quality they are today. We get a lot of successful business customers and we felt we wanted to upgrade the rooms to reflect the quality of our restaurant and lounge areas.

“We felt we were the best in the area for our food, and we want our rooms to match that standard.”

With a contemporary feel, the new rooms complement the redevelopment of the rest of the business in 2005, which saw a significant investment in new kitchens, bar, restaurant and function rooms.

As well as comedy nights, live music, and two squash courts, the hotel can cater for larger business or family functions.

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Until three years ago when it moved to a new site in the village, the Crown Service Station was part of the hotel site.

Now the building is to be redeveloped to house eight new hotel rooms, plus apartment accommodation for staff, with additional land purchased behind the hotel for car parking.

“The whole redevelopment should take about 10 months, and then we’ll be looking for a range of staff including housekeeping, kitchen and front of house - across the board,” said Mr Gibb, who learned his trade with Forte Posthouse and in New York hospitality before joining the family business.

“We will go from employing 35 staff to nearly 50, which is great for the local area and will help us move forward with our future plans.”

As well as the hotel rooms, branding has been refreshed with a new website, and anyone looking for employment should visit www.thecrownlodgehotel.co.uk/work-with-us.