The new owner of a Leytonstone pub was hoping it would be breath fresh life in the area as it prepared to reopen ten years ago this week.

An historic pub is due to reopen soon after an extensive refurbishment.

The new owner of The Red Lion, formerly Zulus, in High Road, Leytonstone, hopes it will revitalise the area.

The pub, which has been empty for a year, is due to open on Wednesday, June 15, owner Antic Ltd has confirmed.

The renovation has been welcomed by residents and groups such as the Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society, which says it could help regenerate the area.

Antic boss Anthony Thomas said the company was excited about the new venture.

He said: "I don't like the term gastro pub as it's often used as an excuse to charge restaurant prices, but we're going for a contemporary take on the traditional British boozer with good food.

"It's quite horrifying the condition that the building was in when we started work, but we've made a real effort to preserve its features like repairing its historic ceiling.

"It's early days and our first priority is to get the doors open.

"We haven't found the chef we want yet so there won't be food right away and we're still working on the garden and first floor.

"We want to be part of the community but what happens will be up to the manager.

“I imagine there will be live music and we can eventually have things like weddings and bar mitzvahs in the function room."

The pub's opening has been delayed due to the extensive renovation works, and issues such as an occupation by squatters late last year.

It also had a window smashed recently with a bottle and last minute adjustments have pushed back its original opening date of June 8.

Mr Thomas said his company, which runs a number of pubs in London, was looking to expand further into the borough.

He revealed the firm had been looking at sites such as the old Leyton town hall building and the former EMD building in Walthamstow in partnership with the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust.

He added: "We like up and coming locations that other companies may not be interested in.

"The areas around Stratford are getting a big shot in the arm and we see Leytonstone as a good opportunity."

"The company has taken over and modified Zulu's old licence, although the precise opening hours have not yet been revealed.