£400,000 plans to extend Leyland Lion

Photo Neil Cross
Manager Mark Batty at Wetherspoons Leyland Lion
Photo Neil Cross Manager Mark Batty at Wetherspoons Leyland Lion
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Wetherspoon’s is investing £400,000 into its popular Leyland Lion pub - making it bigger and creating up to 10 new jobs.

Extension plans for the Hough Lane pub have been submitted.

Wetherspoon’s have exchanged contracts, conditional on planning and licensing approval, on a new lease of the next door unit.

The adjoining premises is a former charity shop that has been empty for some time.

Wetherspoon’s have put in an application to South Ribble Borough Council’s planning department seeking a change of use of the shop.

The scheme would extend the pub’s customer area - and beer garden.

It is envisaged between five and 10 new staff would be needed at the pub, which opened on October 18, 2011.

Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The Leyland Lion is an extremely popular pub.

“We are always keen to give our customers the best facilities possible and we believe that an extended customer area and beer garden will allow us to create an even better pub.

“We are always optimistic about our pubs and the pub industry in general, and despite some pubs closing, we will continue to invest in our pubs and that includes The Leyland Lion.”

Mark Batty, 42, manager of the Leyland Lion, said: “It will give customers more space. At the moment we don’t take any bookings because we’re too small. We’re just losing trade. People can’t get a table and walk out.

“It will good for the customers and we’ll take on more staff.”

He added: “Leyland is up and coming now on the back of us opening up and micro bars opening and pubs being done up.

“People stay in Leyland now, rather than go to Preston.

“We got people from Liverpool CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) branch come over to us for their Christmas do and they’ve organised another trip to come over.

“We’re getting people from out of town.

“We do well on real ales.

“We were CAMRA pub of the year a few years back.”

Mick Clark, communications officer for the Central Lancashire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said; “CAMRA is aware it’s been on the cards for a while now. It looked like it wasn’t going to happen, we’re delighted it is.

“It’s one of the smaller Wetherspoon’s which is something their regulars are pleased about.

“We don’t think an extension like this is going to spoil it - in fact it will be a benefit.”