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Countdown on for completion of major hotel development

The development rising from the ground at Ruleholme

A six-month countdown is on for the completion of a major hotel development in Cumbria.

Despite losing several weeks of building time due to the lockdown, The Golden Fleece at Ruleholme is on course to meet its spring 2021 opening date.

The multi-million-pound development on the outskirts of Brampton is set to be an iconic new venue for the area. Drivers along the A689 have seen the building take shape in recent months as the stone walls have risen, spectacular oak beams have been winched into place and natural slate has formed the roof.

The hotel, which will boast around 2,180 sq m of floorspace, is being built by owners David Corkill and Robert Cowan and their families.

Robert Cowan and David Corkill outside the hotel

David said that although coronavirus spelt tough times for the hospitality industry, they had stuck with an upbeat view of the future.

He said: “We’ve been working on this for three years, so there was no turning back. And we’ve taken the view that, as harsh as the lockdown has been for some, we are social animals. We love going out for a nice meal with friends or having a weekend away and that isn’t something that has changed.”

The 23-bed hotel will feature several complementary dining areas, including what is set to be a unique ‘theatre kitchen’ experience where diners will be able to watch from their tables as their meals are prepared and cooked on giant vertical rotisseries and a charcoal grill.

One of the hotel’s huge stone fireplaces

While the hotel benefits from state-of-the-art design and building techniques and will have environmentally conscious solar panels and charging points, there will also be a nod back to the previous inn that stood on the site.

The main bar area will have the feel of a traditional Lakeland inn and there will be elements from both the Georgian and Victorian eras to link the new build to its predecessor, which was demolished last year.

Another key feature will be a flexible, coffered ceiling function room able to cater for around 200 guests.

Oak beams in one of the dining areas

Business partner Robert said maintaining current progress the venue would be serving its first customers early in 2021 – and he revealed there was already demand.

He said: “The interest from people is phenomenal. Everyone is asking when we’re going to be open. And we’re already getting lots of inquiries from couples looking to book wedding receptions for next year.”

Marketing for wedding receptions is expected to begin shortly. Recruitment of the senior team that will run the venue – including a general manager and executive chef – is also under way.

David added: “Being able to build a new hotel and restaurant on this scale is something of a dream for Robert and me. We think it’s also going to offer some great opportunities for people who want to put a marker down in the hospitality industry and help us create something really special.”

It is anticipated around 40 full-time and part-time roles will be created.

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