TWO real ale enthusiasts who have transformed the fortunes of a York pub look set to bring their winning formula to another business.

Paul Crossman, landlord of The Swan in Bishopthorpe Road, and business partner Jon Farrow are set to take over The Woolpack Inn in Fawcett Street. They have already gained the backing of one of Yorkshire’s most famous breweries.

As well as The Swan, the pair also own the nearby Slip Inn and the Volunteer Arms in Holgate.

Mr Crossman, 44, said: “We are buying these pubs off the big pub companies because they are struggling to make them work. The Slip was really struggling, but I think we would have quadrupled its turnover.

“With The Woolpack we are going to stick to what we know. We don’t do food, but we are all about community – that’s what we like. It’s just outside the city centre, but it will also have a community feel about it.

“It seems to work well; if people are interested in real ale it’s not too far for them to walk from the centre and if you live nearby you have a very nice local pub.”

Mr Crossman said his latest venture has had a huge boost from West Yorkshire brewery, Timothy Taylor, which produces the popular Landlord ale.

He said: “We have got together with one of the most prestigious breweries in Yorkshire and we are going to have five of their beers on permanently.

“It’s very flattering that they are trusting us with their brand.”

However, he stressed The Woolpack will be a free house and stock a wide range of beers.

The pub will now close for a minor refurbishment and is expected to reopen under its new ownership at the end of January.