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Fiddle & Bone set to enjoy a new lease of life

City planners have given an enthusiastic welcome to the plans for the former Fiddle & Bone in Sheepcote Street to be developed.

Roger Herrington, General Manager for British Waterways, is pictured with the soon to be reopened Fiddle & Bone near Sheepcote Street
Roger Herrington, General Manager for British Waterways, is pictured with the soon to be reopened Fiddle & Bone near Sheepcote Street

A pub that was a favourite with jazz fans but has stood empty for 10 years is set to be revived as a canalside bar and restaurant.

The former Fiddle & Bone, in Sheepcote Street, will also be developed with facilities for boaters and open up the canal towpaths to the public.

City planners have given an enthusiastic welcome to the plans.

More than a decade ago, the pub was a thriving jazz venue but complaints over loud noise levels from residents of new flats nearby saw it controversially shut down.

Now its owner Sherborne Wharf and the Canal and River Trust has teamed up to bring the historic pub and Grade II-listed Roundhouse Building behind back into use.

As well as a bar, the plans include a chandlery, or boating shop, storage and workshops for canal users.

Planning committee member Coun Peter Douglas Osborn (Cons, Weoley) said that the former venue had been forced to closed due to complaints from a minority of residents.

"I am happy to see it coming back as a bar and restaurant after all these years."

Coun Bob Beauchamp (Cons, Erdington) added: "This is one of the gems of this city and this is a marvellous scheme."

Mike Dowse of Sherborne Wharf said he was delighted to have secured planning permission.

He said: "We have a licence and are now ready to get going. I'm looking forward to reopening the Fiddle & Bone."

He added that they have no plans for live music.

Richard Newton, of the Canal River Trust, said: "This will open up the canal side and become a focal point for boaters and the public."

The old Fiddle and Bone was opened by former CBSO musicians Danny Longstaff and Angela Greaves in 1997.

The exclusive King Edwards Wharf apartments were completed a few years later and residents quickly tired of the noise and lodged complaints forcing an end to live music.

Despite widespread protests and anger over the decision, the bar closed shortly after.

 
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