DEMOLITION work is underway as part of the major redevelopment of a prominent north Cumbrian pub.

The Golden Fleece Inn, at Ruleholme, near Brampton, is to be flattened and a new country pub - with restaurant, function room and 23 bedrooms - built in its place.

Contractors have begun clearance work at the site, which sits just off the A689, near to the Carlisle Lake District Airport, with the aim that groundworks for the new build can start next month.

John White, site manager for main contractors JB Black, said heavy duty machinery had been on site since mid-April and demolition work is now progressing.

He said: “There’ll be somewhere in the region of 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes of rubble taken away and probably about another 400 tonnes of wood and mixed alloys.

“Everything has to be separated out and the wood will go off for chipping.”

The re-build is the brainchild of Robert and Sylvia Cowan, who have run the Golden Fleece since 2011, and new business partners David and Roweena Corkill.

The masterplan is to create an upmarket development to cater for a wide range of local, leisure, business and travel consumers.

They aim to appeal to visitors to both of Cumbria’s World Heritage Sites - Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District - as well as airport passengers, which is set to open for scheduled flights in July.

It is hoped first guests will be welcomed in the second half of 2020.

They say the new premises will create jobs, with staffing set to increase to around 40 full-time and part-time roles.

The number of guest rooms will expand by 14.

The premises will offer 2,180 sq m of floorspace, have a veranda to two sides, and accommodate parking for 81 vehicles.

As well as fine dining in the restaurant there will also be a more informal area for meals alongside the bar facilities.

Other special features will include an inglenook fireplace, microbrewery, terraced area, garden and landscaping.

Mr Corkill has said they want to create something that is much better than was there before, bringing a major benefit to the area. Having looked at all the renovation options, it was decided that a total rebuild was the best option.