A RAMSBOTTOM pub has been nominated for a national award for their innovative beer garden.

The Eagle and Child, in Whalley Road, is one of three finalists in the Business Innovation of the Year category, at the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastro Pubs awards.

The innovation was its Incredible Edible Beer Garden, which is available for community use, and fresh fruit and vegetables are grown on the site.

It has been built on an overgrown acre of waste ground adjacent to the pub, and features a space for drinking and eating, kitchen gardens for food production and training, an orchard and is also home to the pub’s own hens that lay fresh eggs.

The pub is run as a social enterprise, and offers young people who are not in education or training the chance to get into employment with work experience and qualifications.

The awards are organised by pub industry magazine The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, and recognises gastropubs who have shown business innovation.

Landlord Glen Duckett said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted.

“Our concept is quite different. As well as providing a great drinking and dining experience, we have worked hard to transform a community pub into a thriving business, supporting young people into employment and training, linking with our community to provide food related workshops and being a great ambassador for local food.”

Jo Bruce, the managing editor of The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, said: “The edible beer garden has been a great success and been instrumental in building strong links and relationships with the community as well as utilising an unused space.

“The produce produced in the garden is used in the pub’s kitchen and also in some of its drinks.”

The awards are judged by pub guide editors and business journalists, and the winners are revealed at a ceremony held in Hertfordshire on January 27.