A CHORLEY town centre pub which is attracting attention for the quality of its beer and its live music has been crowned 'Pub Of The Year' by the Campaign For Real Ale.

The Malt And Hops, on Friday Street, close to the Railway station, has been rejuvenated in the past 15 months due to the hard work of its landlord John Grainger.

John, 59, well known to pubgoers in Chorley after running the Prince of Wales on Cowling Brow for three years, set himself the challenge of getting the 'Malt' back to its former glory.

He said: "When I took on the pub it had been closed for months and and was in a bit of a sorry state.

"It took a couple of months to get anywhere and we had setbacks when the pub was broken into on more than one occasion.

"But we got it open and haven't looked back since."

A free house, the pub has nine cask ale pumps and a constantly changing line up of real ale.

John's dedication to quality has seen the Malt And Hops given the title Pub Of The Year by the Central Lancs branch of The Campaign For Real Ale.

A presentation was held last week and John was handed the shield on which the pub's name will be engraved.

John, who originally hails from the North East, now says Chorley 'feels like home' to him.

"I've made many friends here and have become a fan and sponsor of Chorley FC, it's a great place to live and work.

"The award is a reward for my excellent staff who have worked so well to get to where we are.

"We also have live music on a Sunday from 6pm which has really taken off."

John also said that Chorley has seen a renaissance for pubgoers with several opening recently.

He said: "I've noticed the pub has become a destination for real ale drinkers.

"It's good news for the town that there have been several new bar and micropub openings.

"I think it helps the other pubs to have a few places selling quality ales."