A former village pub is to become a venue for a different kind of tot.
For the Waggon and Horses in Adlington is set to transformed into a children’s day nursery.
The Market Street premises have been bought by Diane Jolly, who currently runs another children’s nursery - Hollybrook Nursery at Brookdale in Heath Charnock, which has places for 17 children and employs seven staff.
She has also just launched an after-school club at St Paul’s Primary School, Adlington.
The businesswoman is considering closing Hollybrook when the Waggon and Horses’ nursery opens.
But she has not made a final decision yet.
Diane, 51, who has worked with children for the last 10 years, said: “I’ve already got Hollybrook, which is so full.
“I’ve also just opened a school club at St Paul’s School.
“What attracted me to the pub was the open space at the back.
“There’s a big field at the back and piece of land at the side.
“I thought, if I could access that, that would be the best thing for the kids.”
She said the former pub was also a good size for a new nursery, with a car park, and that at Hollybrook she was struggling for parking spaces.
As regards Hollybrook, Diane said: “At the moment I’m undecided.
“I was going to keep Hollybrook going, but listening to the parents, they are all excited about the new nursery.
“I thought that would make a good nursery when it came up for sale.
I thought I’ve got to go for that.”
She said the building was in decent condition and would probably not need much building work doing to it.
“Inside it isn’t that bad,” said Diane.
“It doesn’t mean you have to knock everything out.
“The conservatory is in a lovely condition, I can just move in there.
“It has a lovely big fireplace, I’ll just keep all those features.
“They don’t have to be an hindrance to the children.
“It will be gorgeous when it is finished.”
The new nursery is registered for 60 children and Diane expects to take on up to 20 staff.
Diane, who originates from the Heath Charnock area - she is the daughter of local businessman Jim Jolly - and now lives at Duxbury, said: “I just love property.
“We have a few properties abroad and I’ve got this house and Hollybrook.”
Diane has two daughters, Amy, 27, who works as a teacher, and Harriet, 21, who works at Hollybrook nursery.
Diane acquired the Waggon and Horses from the pub and restaurant chain Punch Taverns.
The pub on the busy A6 running through Lower Adlington on the way to Blackrod, was once a popular venue as a pub and restaurant.
But like many pubs nowadays, business dropped away and it was put on the market.
It closed in November last year and Diane put an offer in for the former pub at the start of this year.
A dozen pubs a week are closing across the UK due to the Government’s “crippling” increases in beer tax, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) warned earlier this year.
New figures from showed that 300 pubs closed between September 2011 and March 2012.
Lancashire was the worst hit area.
Barry Lee,of Adlington Town Council, said the town council was mostly in favour of the former pub being used as a business again.
“We were generally for because it using an empty space and it is a commercial venture which will bring employment into the area.
“We welcome employment opportunities into Adlington.
“There were just a couple of reservations on traffic flow which we asked county to look at.”