A PUB is closing for a £460,000 major refurbishment project.

The Jolly Friar in Whitmore Way in Basildon will close on February 25 ahead of the works.

The investment ends uncertainty about the pub’s future and will transform it into a great quality family-friendly local, complete with what is billed to be one of the best sports areas in Basildon.

The project is expected to take seven weeks, with the pub scheduled to reopen in time for the Easter weekend.

The project will install new toilets, refit the kitchen to enable the Jolly Friar to introduce more food and replace the old conservatory with an orangerie, which can also be booked for functions and celebrations.

New licensee Stephen Carey - who took over the Jolly Friar in October - and has already made many improvements - will remain at the helm of the revamped pub.

He said he plans to build the Jolly Friar’s reputation for great events and activities and will unveil Basildon’s new-look pub at Easter with a weekend of music and a Sunday Easter Egg hunt.