Plans to transform an award-winning Fleetwood pub into a hotel and micro-brewery could be completed as early as next year, bosses said today.
And experts have welcomed the ambitious proposals to revamp the Strawberry Gardens, in Fleetwood, saying the move will add to competition for quality pubs on the Fylde coast and create new jobs.
The vision to improve the Poulton Road pub was first revealed by The Gazette last month.
It is planned that the venue will host a micro-brewery and function rooms and hotel rooms will be built at the premises.
A planning application has been submitted and bosses are hoping it will get the go-ahead.
If that happens building work will begin immediately and it is expected that the new venue will be operational by early 2014.
The brewery will be run by the newly-formed Fleetwood Brewing Company. It is hoped the brewery will create four new jobs.
Dave Shaw, managing director of Fleetwood Brewing Company (FBC), said: “We expect to get planning permission and then building work will start, hopefully by early next year we’ll have it operational.
“When we got Strawberry Gardens two years ago it was always the intention to build a brewery but there have been other things we’ve had to do.
“It’s a small brewery, not just supplying pubs here but throughout the North West.
“It’s the way forward, pubs have their own breweries, nearer to them.”
FBC is already having its own cask beer produced at a brewery in Burnley, which are proving popular on sale in the company’s other Fleetwood pub, The Royal Oak.
Mr Shaw added: “Our beer, First Trawler, is permanently at The Royal Oak and occasionally at Strawberry Gardens - it’s been so successful. That’s going to the Great British Beer Festival in London next week.
“Other beers are going to be named after trawlers or anything to do with fishing.
“People like the beer, they’re excited about the brewery.”
The move was today welcomed by representatives from the Campaign for Real Ale, which made the venue the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Pub of the Year earlier this year.
Russ Cobb, of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre CAMRA, said: “It can only be a good thing. If this comes off it will be great.
“The idea of another micro-brewery in the borough (there are already breweries in Poulton and Lytham), the more choice and the more competition there is, the better it will be.”
Wyre planners are due to consider the application in the coming months.