A CLEOBURY Mortimer brewery has opened a £50,000 visitor centre with the help of Government funding.

Hobsons Brewery, based at Newhouse Farm, opened the doors of its visitor centre last Thursday to coincide with English Tourism Week.

The project was funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and rural affairs minister Dan Rogerson was on hand at the official opening to celebrate the boost to the local economy.

Mr Rogerson said: "With our investment, Hobsons is contributing to a stronger economy in the West Midlands by creating jobs and by partnering with B&Bs and local suppliers."

The centre boasts a welcoming bar area and kitchen to present food and beer tasting.

Over the next year, it will be hosting special producer evenings such as a pie masterclass, a cob oven workshop, group tours and packages for local B&B providers to encourage tourists to visit.

The independent brewery used Shropshire tradesmen to build the centre using locally-sourced materials, including Cleehill stone.

Hobsons Brewery owner Nick Davis said: "We have been organising brewery tours for many years, but our site wasn't conducive to year round visits, long stays or serving food, and we believe that the new visitor centre is a great asset to Hobsons Brewery, offering a substantial visitor and tourist aspect to the overall marketing of our business."

Hobsons Brewery, which was established in 1993, is keen to collaborate with local businesses and people to open up the centre to different communities and tourists.

Hobsons supplies cask ale to more than 250 pubs across the region.

For more information visit hobsons-brewery.co.uk