A VETS is set to expand — by opening a new practice in a pub.

Bolton-based Animal Trust Ltd has lodged plans to convert the Manxman Road pub, in Blackburn, after it was put up for sale by owners Trust Inns.

An asking price of £165,000 has been set for the pub which closed at the end of last year.

Animal Trust said: “The application have been made available due to the lack of viability of the existing use, with evidence demonstrating that the profitability of the public house has declined significantly over the past 10 years.”

If approved, the plans include the bricking up of the existing main entrance, a new access ramp at the proposed main entrance, erection of a 1.5-metre tall wall to enclose a dog walk area and the laying out of the car park to provide 19 parking spaces.

Bosses at Animal Trust, based in Castle Street, The Haulgh, also said the practice would create 19 full-time jobs in the first 8 months, rising to 28 jobs after four years.

In its statement, the firm added: “The Animal Trust is a not-for-profit veterinary practice that offers a high-quality service catering primarily for dogs, cats, rabbits and some other small mammals.

“Animal Trust operates an existing practice in Bolton, to the east of the town centre. This practice has approximately 260 clients who live in the Blackburn area and who travel to Bolton in order to access the not-for-profit care.

“As there is no similar provider in Blackburn, Animal Trust anticipates that there will be a great demand for their services.”

Cllr Andy Kay said: “It looks like a good move to me. The Manxman did not have a very good reputation in recent years.”