ONE of Poole’s oldest pubs is set to reopen just months after it was announced it would be closing its doors.

Darren Taylor from Ashley Cross has taken it upon himself to save the beloved Poole landmark, the Cockleshell, and give it a new lease of life.

The Cockleshell in Lagland Street closed on Sunday, March 31, after the previous landlady retired.

 Plans are in place to renovate and relaunch it as a bar, live music venue, and a hotspot for the community.

Darren said: “I was dismayed to see another Poole pub close, and I couldn’t watch it turn into apartments.

“I have been in discussion with the owner of the building and have put together a proposal to reopen its doors as a free house and music bar, which he has agreed to.”

The renovation is expected to take around five weeks, and Darren hopes to reopen the bar in July 2024.

Darren said: “The idea is to redecorate both the inside and the outside, keeping the original features- traditional with a modern twist.

“I’m really keen on the history of old pubs, so we want to keep some of the features, such as the beautiful parquet floor.

“I am chatting with local artist Tech Moon about producing a large mural on the side of the building to further enhance the history of the building.

“It will be instantly recognisable to anyone who remembers the Cockleshell; we’re not gutting it out. It will be a traditional pub, but it will be more modern and refreshed.”

Music is a priority for Darren, who aims to restore the pub to its former glory as a popular live music venue.

“Poole is on the cusp of becoming somewhere people go, and the key to that is people want to have a choice as to where they spend their evening.

“I want to become a premier music venue with really good eclectic music for all ages.”

Darren said he wants the new pub to become a community space, somewhere people would meet up.

He added: “I have plans to allow local residents to utilise the building free of charge when it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as a drop-in or for charity and community events.”