A TOWN centre pub is set to undergo a £250,000 transformation creating up to 15 new jobs.
Bosses at north west chain Bravo Inns said they intend to transform the derelict Warners Arms in Accrington into their 'flagship store'.
It will feature a traditional pub, a 'quality' beer garden area and a new pre-club venue called the I-Bar.
The Observer can also reveal that a buyer has been found for the former Barnes Street furniture store with work set to begin to bring it back into use.
Ken Buckley, managing director of Bravo Inns, said they intend to complete the purchase of the Warnes Arms over the next few days with work set to begin in January.
The refurbishment scheme at Whalley Road pub is expected to take eight weeks and will open by the start of March.
Mr Buckley said: “We see what a good job Wetherspoons have done with the Commerical and want to come in and help breed life back into the town centre.
“We believe in Accrington. We have 33 pubs and this will be the biggest refurbishment we have done spending in excess of £250,000 and I'm hoping this will be our flagship pub.
“It's a great location as it's just on the fringe of the town centre. It's a beautiful building and our scheme will be very sympathetic.
“We will be spending more money on the beer garden that we have done at any of our other pubs to make it high quality and we want it to become a hub of the community.”
He added: “We are excited about it and we can't wait to get started.”
Two full-time managerial roles will be created along with between 12 and 15 part-time jobs.
Councillors have also confirmed that the nearby Barnes Furniture Store has been bought with plans to include a cafe, estate agents and bathroom company showroom.
The three-storey building was used a warehouse for 30 years until closing in 2005 and was severely damaged by an arson attack in 2011.
Speaking at an area Council meeting last week, ward councillor Tony Dobson said: “I think it's a very important corner for Accrington town centre and can really lift the whole area.
“We have got some fantastic shops on Warner Street but having that building on there is an eyesore.
“With Barnes' a buyer has been found from Blackburn and he has started re-fitting the inside of the premises which is positive.”
Deputy Council leader Clare Pritchard said the Council are 'grateful' for any empty buildings being brought back into use.”