A six-month countdown is on for a multi-million pound major hotel development that will create 40 jobs for the area.

Despite losing several weeks of building time due to the coronavirus 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, oak beams have been winched into place and natural slate has formed the roof.

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

Last December the pair reopened the doors of The Queen Inn in Great Corby after it closed in the summer.

The pub situated in the centre of the village was over by Robert and Sylvia Cowan and business partners David and Roweena Corkill.

They refurbished the village pub and reopened it in time for the festive season.

Major changes included revamping the upstairs restaurant and making it into one dining room, redecorating the lounge area and putting fresh touches to the rest of the premises.

The Golden Fleece, at Ruleholme, closed its doors in October 2018, ahead of the demolition of the pub.

A planning application was submitted to Carlisle City Council a month later, with planners approving the proposals last year.

Demolition on the former pub began last May.

The masterplan is to create an upmarket development to cater for a wide range of local, leisure, business and travel consumers.

They aim to appeal to visitors to both of Cumbria’s World Heritage Sites - Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District - as well as airport passengers, which is set to open for scheduled flights in July.

The number of guest rooms at the site will expand by 14 once the development is completed.

The premises will offer 2,180 sq m of floorspace, have a veranda to two sides, and accommodate parking for 81 vehicles.

Having looked at all the renovation options, it was decided that a total rebuild was the best option.

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 (The Golden Fleece) 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 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.

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 about 200 guests.

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 enquiries 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 underway.

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 that about 40 full-time and part-time positions will be created by the development.