A FORMER Fordingbridge pub is being revamped in a bid to boost tourism in the town.

The Augustus John pub on Station Road originally opened in the 1860’s by Eldridge Pope, a Dorchester Brewer, as The Railway Hotel.

It served Fordingbridge Railway Station, one of the stops on the newly built Salisbury and Dorset Railway.

It had seven rooms to rent and a livery stable.

The line was closed in 1964 and it became The Load of Hay and was later named after the artist Augustus John.

Local businessman Brian Currie, who restored The Regal Cinema in Shaftesbury Street, is now renovating the Railway Hotel.

It will have seven en-suite rooms around a courtyard in what were the livery stables.

Mr Currie said: “I enjoy restoring buildings with an interesting history so I’m very pleased that this will be re-opening as the Railway Hotel.

“Since the Ashburn Hotel closed, Fordingbridge has been without a hotel, so I hope it will encourage tourism back into the town and be somewhere local residents enjoy frequenting.”

It is hoped that the Railway Hotel will open in the autumn and will create about 15 jobs, including full and part time positions.