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Wetherspoons name day for Darwen opening
DISCOUNT pub chain JD Wetherspoon will open in Darwen in January, creating 40 new jobs in the town.
Bosses at the firm yesterday confirmed an opening date of January 9 had been set for The Old Chapel, which will be in the former Railway Road Methodist Church in the centre of town.
Work will begin on transforming the building into a pub on September 24.
JD Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are looking forward at starting building work on our new pub in Darwen and to opening in early 2014.
“We believe the pub will be an asset to the town and a good addition to its social scene.”
Rumours that a Wetherspoon pub was to open in Darwen had been circulating in the town long before it was announced the firm was to take over the former church.
But when discount shop A&M Bargains closed down, the firm agreed a deal with then owner Amanda Whittingham to take it over.
Planning permission was agreed and a licence granted for the site, with a covenant preventing the sale of alcohol in the former Wesleyan chapel having expired more than a year ago.
Darwen MP Jake Berry said he welcomed the arrival of the company to Darwen.
He said: “It is great news a company like JD Wetherspoon has decided to open up in Darwen. The licensed trade is thriving in the town, and this is testament to that.
“As a company, Wetherspoon always does a good job of preserving old buildings, which is precisely what is needed with the old chapel.”
Sudell councillor Paul Browne said: “I welcome this with open arms.
“It will be good for the town and hopefully local people will find employment there. I will be patronising it and I am really looking forward to it.”
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