BUSINESSMAN Philip O’Shea is trying to look on the bright side after lockdown almost put paid to his plans to transform a charity centre into a stylish hotel.

He and his wife Amanda made the brave decision to carry on pouring money into the Peppermill Hotel in Devizes even though they had no idea when they would be allowed to open it.

But they are now hoping their bravery will have paid off as the revamped building will be ready just in time to open on Saturday as the lockdown on the hospitality industry is lifted.

He is already fully booked for all his 17 luxury rooms for Tuesday and expects Saturday to be very busy.

He said: “I think really it would have been better if lockdown was lifted mid week. By doing it on Saturday it could mean there are crowds of people looking to get a drink.

“A lot of Devizes pubs will not be open so we may have to turn people away.”

His existing Peppermill bistro will also be back open with Covid-19 restrictions in place. It will be open for food only but drinkers will be diverted next door where a new bar has been created in the hotel.

Eventually the hotel will have its own restaurant but for now that will be used as an overspill area for the bar.

He said: “We have still got quite a few last bits to finish off in the hotel but I am very pleased with how it looks.

“It is unrecognisable from what it was before. We have concentrated on giving it a stylish and luxurious look and taken everything back to bare walls and started again.

“I am particularly pleased with the bathrooms and the art work. We have gone for quite bold wallpaper but I think it works.”

Mrs O’Shea said: “We are just hoping our gamble to carry on has paid off. We could be really busy on Saturday and then totally quiet.”

The couple have also found room for an office for the Devizes CCTV control room run, by Noel Woolrych, without any rent.