AN award-winning pub has applied for planning permission to revamp the premises and expand its food offering, warning it is "at real risk of closure" otherwise.

Mark Hanrahan has applied to Colchester Council for planning permission to revamp the New Inn, in Chapel Street South, Colchester.

Plans will see the disused outside smoking area adapted so it is combined with the function room, providing extra space for diners inside the pub

A statement from the owners is included in the planning application.

It says: "We like to specialise in bringing back to life ‘at risk’ pubs, but which are loved by the local community, for example - The Rosebud in Brightlingsea, The Rockford Inn in Devon, The Manor House Inn in Somerset.

"Our philosophy is to revive places by spending money on the properties and putting a lot of effort into building customer relations.

"The ten years we have been here have been the toughest trading period ever for pubs with many closing during this time.

"We have spent close to £200,000 renovating the New Inn bringing it back to it’s former glory as a traditional local.

"We employ three full-time staff. However we have never made a profit.

"The New Inn is at real risk of closure unless we find a way to unlock it’s potential.

"We need to grow our business by at least 25 per cent to survive."

The New Inn in Colchester at real risk of closure unless revamp approved

The New Inn in Colchester 'at real risk of closure' unless revamp approved

The renovation plans will allow the pub to expand its food offering and better cater for small functions such as birthday parties and work dos.

The statement continues: "We currently have a problem in that the function room is only viable for use during the warmer months and being unattached to the main pub building, makes it impractical to use when food is required.

"Our solution is to turn the covered ex-smoking area into a dining room and at the same time connect the function room to the main building so that we can use the room all year round.

"If we are successful with our plans the expectation is we will need to employ four to five more staff from the local area."

It adds: "A lot of locals and business people this side of the Southway have expressed a desire not to have to go to the town centre and would prefer to support their local community pub."

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The New Inn won Colchester Camra's pub the year in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Essex Camra's pub of the year in 2017 and 2019.

Colchester Council will have the final say on the plans.

Similar plans for the pub were approved back in 2017.

You can view the plans here.