Preston's Withy Trees pub set to become Muslim centre
A Preston pub, once a favourite watering hole for North End footballers, could be converted into a Muslim centre.
And the lounge bar of the 170-year-old Withy Trees in Fulwood, where megastars David Beckham and Tyson Fury were also customers, is set to be turned into a prayer room.
New owners of the building have put in a planning application to change its use from an alehouse into a prayer and education establishment.
The Noorami Education Trust, which is based just yards away in Garstang Road, has bought the vacant pub and is planning to move its operation there.
The group’s current premises in Withy Trees House are said to be inadequate, with very little parking and a limited internal lay-out.
The property has been used as a centre for prayer and tuition, together with a foodbank, since 2008.
The Withy Trees Hotel closed its doors in July last year after operating as a pub since at least 1849. Earlier maps show it was a farmhouse before that.
Brewery giant Greene King sold the hostelry at the corner of Garstang Road and Lytham Road after a slump in trade.
The sale came shortly after the disappearance of another Greene King pub in Fulwood - The Sumners - which been flattened for an apartment complex.
The pub was on the market and boarded up for months before the Noorami Trust decided to buy it for expansion.
The plans contain a car park for 27 vehicles on the former bowling green. Up to nine trees at the rear of the site may have to be removed.
And the Trust’s community foodbank will also operate from the building.