The final touches were being made to a Hartford pub which just over a year ago was burnt to the shell.

The fire struck the Hartford Mill on August 8 last year when seven people had to flee the burning building in the early hours as the pub and restaurant was razed to the ground by the blaze.

But next Friday (August 22), the Fayre and Square pub, at Hartford Marina, will reopen its doors after a £2.5million rebuild by Huntingdon-based Orientrose.

On the outside, it looks the same as it did before the fire, but the inside has been changed including the addition of a soft play area for under-12s, replacing the former function room which was the only part left standing after the blaze.

New manager Paul Beales, 40, said: “It's completely different inside now. The layout is more modern and it is much lighter. The kitchen has been redesigned and the toilets have been moved. There is nothing anywhere else in the Fayre and Square portfolio that is anything like this.”