A POPULAR Taunton pub that has been closed for almost three months is re-opening next week following a £1.4 million redevelopment.

Customers will notice plenty of changes when they return to The Perkin Warbeck, in East Street, after the doors open again at 8am on Tuesday.

The premises have been redecorated throughout, with new carpets and dining booths and banquet seating installed, as well as new lighting, artworks and a feature fireplace.

An outdoor upper terrace roof-top garden has been added to the rear of the pub over the pavement cafe following the demolition of part of the upper floor, offering views overlooking St Mary Magdalene Church.

There is also is a new covered undercroft with seating at the front of the building.

Behind the scenes, the kitchen has been extended and upgraded, to include pizza ovens, and new staff facilities added.

New front of house self-service coffee machines have also been installed and the bar has been removed from the rear of the pub.

The project has created an additional 35 full and part-time jobs, while existing staff, who were deployed to other Wetherspoon pubs during the refit, are returning The pub, which originally opened in June 1997, has been closed since mid-July.

Pub manager Luke Bakewell, who will miss next week's re-opening as he will be away on holiday, said he hopes a group of Somerset cricketers will join in the evening's celebrations.

He said: "Wetherspoon has spent £1.4 million on the pub, creating more jobs for local people and providing further investment into the town.

"I am looking forward to welcoming customers back into the new look pub and we are confident that they will be impressed by the transformation of the building."

Staff are putting the final touches to the improvements following the completion of the building work and the building, which is currently under wraps, will be unveiled to the public in the coming days.