A 19th century Hampshire pub will be "more sustainable' after a six-figure loan allowed its owners to build holiday cottages around it.

Kate and Adam Shanley bought the Northbrook Arms – the only pub in the village of East Stratton, near Winchester – in 2019.

The owners of Hampshire country pub The Northbrook Arms have ambitious plans for it

The couple have a background in holiday accommodation, with two cottages on the other side of Winchester, and had plans for holiday accommodation at the Northbrook Arms. But the plans were delayed by the pandemic an d the process of getting planning permission.

With the help of a first-stage £380,000 loan from Lloyds Bank, work is under way to create five surrounding holiday cottages of various sizes, sleeping 34 people in total.

The cottages will be followed by a swimming pool, spa and gym, and the work will renovate the site’s original buildings, which the owners said had started to become dilapidated.

Kate Shanley said: “We’re based in a very small village with around 50 houses, so the year-round viability of the pub was in question even before the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the industry.

“The introduction of holiday cottages will create a much more sustainable business whilst saving an incredible property that is rich with history.”

The Shanleys used the first lockdown last spring to refurbish the pub, before making the most of the summer with the help of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

The pub hosted a series of comedy nights, which featured comedians including Paul McCaffrey, Seann Walsh and Lloyd Griffith.

The Northbrook Arms, which currently has a projected annual turnover of £300,000, employs 10 staff, all of whom are currently furloughed.

The landlords plan to recruit a full-time chef and hospitality manager as soon as the latest lockdown is lifted.

Turnover is forecast to at least triple after the new developments, creating more jobs.

Kate Shanley added: “The support of Lloyds Bank in being able to continue with building work has been vital, and we couldn’t have done it without them. With their ongoing help, we hope to create a five-star experience for visitors, that will result in a successful business that is viable all year round.”

Steve Sadler, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Kate, Adam and the Northbrook Arms team have refused to let the pandemic dampen their spirits and have pressed on with expansion plans to widen their offering and increase revenue.”