A ST Helier pub has been sold to a local businessman for £650,000.
Grant Miller – who owns businesses including the Channel Islands’ oldest tour operator, Preston Holidays – purchased the Gloster Vaults last week. Mr Miller said that he had been looking at sites in Jersey for some time.
He added: ‘It’s great to acquire an iconic venue in such a great position which I hope will be the first of many hospitality venues I acquire in the Channel Islands.’
Mr Millar added: ‘With the Opera House now being refurbished, I look forward to working with them to revitalise the area and the wider visitor economy for the good of the Island.’
The Gloster Vaults has been involved in recent conversations linked to the refurbishment of the Jersey Opera House, with the idea of the performance venue’s expansion into the neighbouring pub first having been raised in a £16,000 ‘options appraisal’ for the theatre by the Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, which wrote the government’s 2021 arts strategy.
The appraisal contained a series of uncosted proposals about the future relationship between the theatre and the government, including installing five resident arts companies, and appointing an executive director on a salary of up to £100,000.
Longer-term plans suggest that the area around the theatre could be ‘re-engineered to elevate the Opera House at the heart of a new culture-led district for St Helier’. It was proposed that a first step towards this could be to ‘remodel the neighbouring pub as an active facility within the Opera House’.
However, that idea was not a feature of the proposals for the £11.5m refurbishment of the Opera House released at the beginning of this year.
In January, Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel admitted that it would ‘make sense’ for the Opera House to expand into the Gloster Vaults, but confirmed that no moves had been made to purchase it.