New Mills pub to reopen as mini-market

Richard Body, in front of former pub The Torrs in New Mills. Photo contributed.
Richard Body, in front of former pub The Torrs in New Mills. Photo contributed.

A former New Mills pub is being revamped and will reopen as a mini-market and cafe next month.

The Torrs, which closed down in November 2011, will launch as an indoor market on Valentine’s Day before opening three days a week in March.

Richard Body and his wife Hazel, who bought the Market Street building for £165,000 in July, decided the pub did not have a commercial future and obtained planning permission for change of use in October.

The venue, which went into financial decline in the late 1980s, initially closed down in September 2010, but was later acquired by previous owners Star Pubs and Bars, who attempted to revive the pub, reopening it in January 2011.

Richard said: “The Torrs is a big pub. If you have 20 people in it, there’s no atmosphere. When pub numbers were diminishing, it was badly affected.”

In November, the couple tested the water, reopening for the town’s Christmas lights switch on event. “We had a market inside the front part and served real ale in the back. That proved very successful. I was standing outside for about five minutes trying to get through the crowds back into my own pub,” said Richard, 48.

On February 14, the Torrs will play host to a Valentine themed market complete with romantic film screenings in the afternoon and cocktails and a disco in the evening.

From March 6, The Torrs market and cafe will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and some Sundays.

Richard, one of the founders of the Torrs Hydro, said: “I think there’s such a positive feeling for the place because of its history. People have seen it empty for so long and are keen for something to happen to it. People were offering to help clean it for nothing because they wanted to see it reopen. It’s really nice.”

The first floor of the pub will be converted into three three-bedroom apartments.