Ground work has started this week on a £1.5m guest accommodation complex on the River Dee in Chester.

The 21-bedroom nautical-themed development, next to The Boathouse pub, will create eight new jobs when it opens in time for Easter next year and is said to be a ‘bold investment’ for developers JW Lees.

Their aim is to build 21 riverside en-suite bedrooms to give visitors a choice of ‘fabulous accommodation’ within a short walk of the city walls. Each room will be finished to a high quality specification and the development will also affect The Boathouse, in that breakfasts will be served to both residents and non-residents to complement the menu for lunchtime and evening guests.

Developer William Lees-Jones said: “As part of our growth plans we continue to balance investment in our existing estate of pubs and hotels with new acquisitions. We are prepared to make bold investments in exciting projects and The Boathouse Riverside Rooms is a great example of creating an opportunity where others wouldn’t.”

Artist's impression of how the £1.5m accommodation complex at the River Dee will look

The news comes just months after the same developers opened a floating beer garden at The Boathouse, consisting of a 75-foot long open air barge where customers can enjoy food and drink.

Related: Floating beer garden on River Dee

Accessible via two gang planks from the beach hut terrace area, the beer garden features a painted blue hull and ship decking with fixed booth seating astern and at the bow plus free-flow seating in the middle.

Phil Murray of The Boathouse and Riverside Rooms, said: “There couldn’t be a better location to develop new guest accommodation in the city. Our unique position on the River Dee with a short picturesque walk into the heart of the city builds on the fabulous success of our floating barge that we added in 2015.

“The £1.5m development will totally change how we work, but our focus on quality and great service won’t change. The new business will demand that we grow our team and we will shortly start to recruit for the eight new team members,” he added.