Years after it shut its doors, the news that great steps have been made in the restoration of the much-cherished Mount Somerset Hotel has been greeted with joy by locals and County Gazette readers.

Robert Haliday-Stein of Henlade Ltd embarked on the necessary repairs of the hotel, which has its history that goes back to the 17th Century, after acquiring the property in October 2020.

Mr Haliday-Stein said he is eager to bring this Grade II listed mansion, which had fallen into a state of disrepair due to neglect, back to its former glory.

Somerset Council has given conditional approval to the restoration plans that include both the interior and exterior of the property.

These repairs reportedly involve waterproofing a leaky roof and addressing a list of crucial upgrades before the hotel reopens.

Alongside restoring the building, the plan includes reigniting its past life as a hotel for paying visitors, much to the delight of locals.

Somerset County Gazette:

One County Gazette reader said: "Oh my god, this is amazing news.

"Me and my husband can spend our anniversary there like we always wanted to before it closed."

Another admitted their excitement, saying: "Brilliant, can't wait.

"Love this place, had many happy times there!"

Not only does this restoration intend to preserve a piece of Somerset's heritage for future generations, but it also plans to bring a boost to local businesses and retail, plus additional revenue for the town.

However, not everyone shares the same optimism.

A cynical reader raised their concerns: "I was told it was opening in November, then December, then not taking bookings until January 2024 and so it goes on.

"I really hope it does re-open because it was beautiful in its day.

"I celebrated my 30th birthday there, but with all the setbacks, I'll believe it when and if it ever happens."

Nevertheless, the prospect of the Somerset landmark re-opening is enough to stir excitement across the community.

With one resident even claiming: "It did the best afternoon tea!"

While another reminisced: "It used to be beautiful.

"We had our wedding lunch there and my parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary there."

Even with some scepticism, the return of Mount Somerset Hotel is much anticipated.