An award-winning pub in a South Derbyshire village will soon welcome even more visitors after being given the green light to build an extension.

The Dragon, in Willington, will be extended to the rear of the pub, after bosses were given the go-ahead by South Derbyshire District Council.

The pub, which is owned by independent Derbyshire pub company Bespoke Inns, backs on to the Trent and Mersey Canal and features a beer garden which overlooks the water.

However, Bespoke has identified a patio area to the rear of the pub which is believed was being underused so decided to apply for permission to build the extension on it, which will be able to accommodate at least 20 extra covers.

The Dragon in Willington has been given the green light to extend

In planning documents submitted by architects Bi Design, on behalf of Bespoke, it said: "The proposed extension is to match the appearance of the adjacent existing sections of The Dragon and, where possible, to use identical materials.

"The proposal will increase the viability of the existing site, which is well located within the village. The existing restaurant is well used, and increasing the facilities will enable a better service to be provided by the owners."

Since Bespoke Inns bought The Dragon in 2010, the pub has undergone a remarkable turnaround. Now, as well as serving a range of wines and ales, many of which are handcrafted at its own micro-brewery, the pub has become renowned for its food offer, serving dishes freshly-made with local ingredients.

Previously called The Green Dragon, before Bespoke took it over, the pub had shut due to poor food and drink sales and was in urgent need of fresh investment.

Since taking it on, Bespoke have completely revamped the property, adding a 70-seat restaurant by knocking through to an adjacent cottage. It has also created the beer garden.

The pub has gone on to win numerous awards. It is a previous winner at the Derby Food and Drink Awards, winning Best out of Town Pub/Restaurant and it has also been named Best Traditional Pub at the Derbyshire Food and Drink Awards.

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