AN AWARD-winning restaurant is to link up with one of Hyndburn’s biggest tourist attractions as part of a major expansion programme.
Thyme, a traditional restaurant served English food with a twist, is all set to open a gourmet venue in Oswald-twistle Mills’ new £3M food hall development, The Northern Ingredient.
Thyme, listed as one of the top 1,000 restaurants in Europe, has won prestigious awards such as Best Newcomer, awarded by Lancashire Life, and Best Restaurant in Lancashire by the Hi-Life Dining Club.
It started in Longridge six years ago and it is hoped the new venture will open in late October this year.
Boyd Hargreaves, director of Oswald-twistle Mills, said: "Finding the right restaurant business to reflect our ambitions in The Northern Ingredient has been a long-term challenge.
"Not only did they need to be able to produce wonderful food, they had to be passionate about Lancashire produce and fit well with our already established food specialists.
"We were looking for something a bit special, and I think we’ve found it with Thyme."
Wayne Keough, operations director of Thyme, said: "Lancashire is great for food. Our landscape from the coast to the countryside provides fine quality ingredients, so there’s no need to go elsewhere.
"People are starting to realise that supermarket shopping isn’t always the best. They are thinking about what they’re eating and want honest, quality products delivered with feeling and personality."
The new food hall is due to open in October subject to planning approval from Hyndburn Council.
The plan is to transform a 150 square metre derelict building, formerly owned by GB Timber, into the food hall selling locally-produced goods. It will provide jobs for 30 people.
The hall will incorporate some of the specialist retailers currently trading inside the main mill building such as the Crumbly Cheese Deli, Ye Olde Sausage Shop, wine and beer experts, a fruiterer and smoothie bar, artisan smoked fish and a chicken rotisserie.
A bistro will be open during the day and evening and there will be a cookery demonstration theatre with celebrity chefs showing their skills.
Oswaldtwistle Mills is one of the county’s top tourist attractions, being pipped to the post by Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
More than one million people visit the complex each year, giving an annual turnover of £10M.
Mr Hargreaves added: "The plan is to develop The Northern Ingredient into a unique gourmet visitor attraction.
"We have been delighted by the success of the current businesses operating within the Mills and look forward to welcoming the new and exciting enterprises into their specially-built food hall."