Set in a stunning location, the Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge has been a perfect place to stay for tourists visiting the South Lakes or for anyone who fancies a relaxing day by the River Leven.

It was set to be given a new look in 1997, while the £1 million refurbishment was set to create new jobs at the hotel, which had recently been bought by the Cheshire-based group Carriages Leisure.

The 36 rooms at the then 350-year-old hotel would be 'luxuriously refitted' and a gymnasium and new hi-tech conference facilities would be created within its grounds.

Also part of the upgrade would be the extension of banqueting facilities for events such as weddings and dinner dances.

Manager Brian Crewes told The Mail back at the time of the reporting: "These are exciting times for the Swan, which is going to build on its already good reputation."

The reputation that Mr Crewes spoke of had earned the hotel a National Training Award in 1995, following a programme that had revived profits at the bar and the Mailcoach restaurant and increased customer satisfaction.

The award came as a surprise to manager James Bertlin, who had believed he was only collecting a regional award during the ceremony at Wigton.

A plaque and a £1,200 cash bonus was presented, which came after profits had picked up to £51,000 in the last 12 months.