A WHISKY distillery is coming to a former restaurant and cafe in Ribble Valley.

Company Pendle Witch Moonshine has been given approval council planners to transform the tea room area at the former cafe-bar The Plate, Backridge Farm, Waddington, into a distillery, tasting area and shop for their spirits produced on site.

In the planning documents it says the main production spirit will be whisky but bosses have long-term ambitions for the site.

It said: "Whisky doesn’t mature until it is three years and a day old, so in the meantime to provide an income the company is going to produce and sell moonshine, brandy and gin in small batches for retail.

"The company have been working on designing a unique distilling process that they hope to set up at Backridge Farm.

"The company are hoping to grow some of their own crops in the future such as apples and cherries to use in the distilling process.

"The client has been looking for a building to begin distilling for some time, the size of the existing building and current layout lends itself to the proposed use.

"The big open spaces are ideal for storing the various stills and tanks required, and there is sufficient space to house a tasting area and shop on the same premises.

"The proposed distillery, shop and tasting area will bring back into use a business premises that has been vacant for six years, generating employment for five members of staff.

"The proposed use will generate less traffic than the existing use and is in-keeping with the uses of the surrounding buildings at Backridge Farm.

"All these factors suggest that the proposed change of use will be acceptable in this location, and the introduction of a new business venture at Backridge Farm will hopefully contribute to economic growth within the borough."

The Lancashire Telegraph reported in January 2014 about The Plate's closure due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.