THE owners of a pub group are delivering a boost to the local economy of up to £50k, linked to a revamp of one of their most popular venues.

Accommodation rooms at The Sun in Ulverston are being overhauled as part of an ongoing modernisation programme of the town centre pub.

And managing director Kirsty Ridge has vowed as much of the £50k budget as possible will be ploughed into the local economy by ensuring work is awarded to businesses within a 30-mile radius.

She added: “The last few months have been the most challenging in the history of Lakeland Inns and many more businesses alike, be they local family-owned firms or multi-nationals with thousands of employees.

“Since hospitality venues were allowed to reopen with Covid-secure measures in place, we have been overwhelmed by the support of our loyal customers and the community.

“But business has not returned to pre-Covid levels due to social distancing rules, the 10 pm curfew and the ‘substantial meal’ rule, all of which have had a major effect on income.

“Our decision to completely overhaul our rooms is a direct response to this. We need to evolve as a business and providing high quality, individually designed rooms for our guests is a way of doing this.

“Ensuring as much of the £50k investment into the accommodation at The Sun goes to local businesses absolutely feels like the right thing to do. Supporting local has never been so important.”

During lockdown, a revamp of the bar area of The Sun was completed by Kirsty and business partner Scott, with a more metropolitan feel introduced throughout.

That followed a £50k investment into the creation of Room 1780, a high-end function and dining suite on the first floor of the building.

With the focus now firmly switched to accommodation, a programme of works has already started.

The Sun has 20 rooms and each will undergo a transformation. No room will be alike, with an individual theme for each one set to be introduced.

Painted By Me, a bespoke furniture company in Kendal, has been commissioned to provide the furniture for all rooms.

Meanwhile, Nevinsons Carpets of Ulverston have been appointed to take care of all flooring work, while the Barrow-based Ward group will deliver all decorating, carpentry and other associated works.

Every room will be individually named, with work set to be completed by December.

Kirsty said: “In many ways now is not the time to be investing such a significant sum of money. However, it could well be the most important decision we make as we continue to feel the effects of Covid.

“Standing still does not feel like an option – and so evolving in this way will hopefully allow us to grow as a business, continue to provide employment for local people and provide a much-needed town centre service.”

The two businesses now have plans to work together on a new project involving one of Lakeland Brewhouse’s signature ales.

Meanwhile, the future for Lakeland Brewhouse as a standalone business is exciting.

“The brewery arm of our company has undergone a number of significant changes over the last 12 months,” said Kirsty. Although the Covid -19 pandemic and various lockdowns have massively reduced demand, we’ve never been busier.

“There are some very exciting announcements due over the coming weeks and months, but for now we are delighted to have our damson ale brewed and ready to be sampled by beer fans.”