A CARER turned landlady has taken over a pub she used to manage...and now it’s undergoing a £225,000 facelift.

Paula Boxall, 49, has taken over the lease at The Bear in Lewes Road, Brighton.

She has been running the pub for the last 18 months following the death of the previous licensee, Peter Piggott, a well-known publican in the Brighton area.

She worked for him for five years, both at The Bear and Jolly Brewer in Ditchling Road.

Now she’s the boss and the pub, favoured by Albion supporters, is having a huge facelift.

It is closing on Sunday for four weeks while there is a complete overhaul of the pub, both inside and out.

Paula said: “My former boss Pete said I should run my own pub.

“I never thought I’d do it.

“But having had the last year or so to see if I like it, I thought I’d give it a go.

“I’m excited by the investment as it will make the pub much nicer for customers and busier, which I am delighted about as I love the social side of my job.

“It’s really good to be taking the pub forward and to be starting my own business at this stage in my life.

“I never thought this would be the pub I’d take on but I love it that I am carrying it on for Pete.

“I think he’s looking down on me and saying ‘good for you’.”

There will be new signage and lighting outside while the beer garden will have four new beach huts.

The bar is being revamped to create more room in the main bar and games area.

There will be a dedicated zone for darts and improvements to the pool area as well as new furniture, loos and a redecoration.

Two more TV screens are also being added.

Dugald Macer, regional operations director of Star Pubs and Bars said: “The Bear is already a popular pub and the changes being made will help Paula build on its success.

“With student flats being built opposite and a planned new campus less than a mile away, it’s good news for The Bear.

“The refurbishment will improve the look and comfort of the pub for existing customers and broaden its appeal.”