A FORMERLY neglected pub which has had a £1million investment will not reopen this weekend due to Coronavirus.

The Lapstone in Horton Heath closed its doors in 2017.

According to new owner Russ Kitching, it was going to be knocked down to make way for 20 new houses.

The businessman and head of soft drinks company Thirstee, says the building has been a pub for 200-years.

However, it had been neglected and not been refurbished since the 1960s.

With an investment of over £1m, the watering hole will be managed by an unnamed local husband and wife team.

The new venture will create around 20 new jobs but because of the global health crisis, its opening day has been pushed back to the first week of April.

After closing its doors in March 2017 local residents had originally rallied together to get the pub listed as a community asset.

This 150-strong community group were then given six months to raise funds to purchase the pub or for rivals to come in and guarantee its future.

Thirstee based in Chandler’s Ford business later came in with a bid of just under £400,000.

Russ now hopes to restore the Lapstone to its “former glory”.

He now plans to “give the people of Horton Heath not just a pub but a community hub”.

As part of the revamp the Lapstone will be extended to create a family-friendly area and a new restaurant.

Not all details have been confirmed but it is hoped the pub will feature an outdoor pizza oven.

Meanwhile, the existing kitchen will be expanded to provide a greater choice of food.

Russ said: “We hope to convert the Lapstone from a pub to a hub and extend it.

“There will be a family area, tea shop and diner.

“It will have an emphasis on community with all of our suppliers coming from Hampshire.

“My hope is to save the pub so that it lasts another 200-years.”

When the public house reopens there are plans for music nights and entertainment.

On the first floor, the managers flat will be refurbished.