AN upmarket Whalley wine shop wants to expand adding more seating and a private tasting room — but bosses say that if they cannot get permission for the project they would have to move out of the village.

The award-winning Whalley Wine Shop, in King Street, has lodged plans to develop its current premises.

Under the bid, an empty apartment on the building’s first floor would be converted into a 'shop and drinking establishment' selling fine wine, Champagne and real ale.

In a planning application, Clitheroe-based Sunderland Peacock Architects Surveyors said: "An opportunity has arisen to expand into the first floor, currently used as a three-bed apartment, as an alternative to having to relocate, which as an integral part of the village, the client does not want to do."

Since the shop opened in 2010, it has continued to grow, now attracting as many as 30,000 visitors a year.

It offers a ‘try before you buy’ service where customers can buy a sample of wine to drink in the shop, before deciding whether to buy a bottle.

Owner of The Whalley Wine Shop, Tom Jones said the shop would aim to offer 'more of the same'.

Mr Jones said: “We opened the vacant and empty shop on the High Street back in 2010.

“Since then have continued to grow in terms of staff, turnover and customers.

“The shop has proved very popular and successful, attracting between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors a year.

“We also now employ eight staff. Our application aims for us to expand across two floors of the building, from where we are on the ground floor to the apartment on the first floor.

“We are also looking at bringing in more seating to the shop and at the possibility of creating a private tasting room for people to rent out for events.”

The shop has gained recognition in the industry and in the local business community for its work, which includes winning Micro Business of the Year at Ribble Valley Business Awards 2014.

It was also a finalist at the Independent Wine Retailer of the Year 2013 at the National Drinks Retailing Awards 2013.

Mr Jones said: “We believe these plans will be a positive thing for Whalley and the Ribble Valley.

“Ribble Valley is a real hotspot for the food and drink businesses and we want to be seen to be doing the same to attract locals and visitors to our shop and area.”