The opening of a major new Whitehaven restaurant and bar has taken a significant step forward after being granted a licence to operate.

The Peddler, which will occupy the ground floor of the former Whitehaven Bus Station, as part of the multimillion pound "Buzz Station" project, this week had its application for a licence approved by Copeland Council.

The redevelopment of the former bus station, which late last year was slated for a March 2021 completion date, will mark the first time the building has been put into use in more than a decade.

The licence grants the venue, which will seat about 100, permission to sell alcohol, as well as to play and host recorded and live music, into the evenings.

It was granted by Copeland's licensing sub-committee, after hearing representations from Craig Lowery, director of operations at Osprey, which will be managing the venue, as well as two local residents who raised concerns on the potential impact of noise on those living close by.

Mr Lowery sought to address the concerns raised by the residents by outlining the company's vision for the establishment.

"Predominantly we expect people to be going in there for something to eat, and to have drinks," he said.

He added it was not going to be a "late night party venue", and stressed its primary function will be a restaurant, not a bar.

Mr Lowery also said that the venue will be playing "background music", and hosting occasional live performances such as acoustic guitar sets, rather than anything raucous.

The redevelopment of the former Whitehaven bus station is being led by BEC, in partnership with others including Copeland Council, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, and Sellafield Lt,d, which has invested £2.6m into the project.

While the ground floor will be occupied by The Peddler, the rest of the building will provide accommodation for "new and fledgling businesses".

The project has been hailed by Gary McKeating, head of community and development for Sellafield Ltd as an "exciting addition" to Whitehaven town centre.

“It has been designed to offer something unique to the town: high quality accommodation for fledgling and growing businesses," he said.

“It’s aimed at entrepreneurs and start-ups in the creative and digital sectors.

"People will be able to create a base in the building where they can access services, meet, network, and grow their businesses together.

“Downstairs will be The Peddler which will offer all-day catering and a place to meet for business operated by a local company. It will breathe new life into one of Whitehaven’s most iconic buildings which has been derelict for a decade.”