THE owner of a city wine bar has revealed more on his ambitious growth plans after getting the green light for an artisan food hall.

Richard Everton, owner of Bottles in New Street, saw his plan for a new food hall and wine shop in the former fire station in Copenhagen Street approved when it went before city planners last week.

Mr Everton said: "I launched Bottles Wine Bar & Merchants in May 2015 with the ambition to become a recognised and respected wine merchant not only in Worcestershire but further afield and amongst my peers in the wine trade.

"Having spent a lifetime in the trade, I had a great deal of experience in not only drinking, tasting, buying and making wine but also in what makes a business interesting and popular to the public.

"I was very keen to try and take away the formal image of wine and the snobbery that unfairly is associated with it and the business model I adopted I think has gone a long way to achieving this.

"I am in the process of purchasing a couple of new sites that will give me a larger wine shop presence in the city and will also give me the opportunity to expand the business also into wine, drinks and food related accessories like decanters, glassware, cork screws, table accessories etc."

There has also been more good news for the city entrepreneur with the news Bottles has been nominated for the prestigious title of Central England Wine Merchant of the Year, in the International Wine Challenge UK Merchant Awards.

Mr Everton said the awards were known as as the equivalent of the Baftas for the wine industry, and staff will learn if they have won when the winner is announced at an awards ceremony being held at the Oval in London next week.

Mr Everton said: "I am personally delighted with this recognition.

"There are so many fantastic independent wine merchants and to be shortlisted for the final is an incredible achievement.

"It is a testament to my loyal and hardworking team that have all been part of this journey."