Accrington town centre has received a major boost with two high profile names set to take up residence.
Derelict central Accrington pub Regency, situated on Church Street, will undergo a £1.4m redevelopment after being sold to JD Wetherspoon’s.
The national pub chain completed the purchase of the Regency bar building on Monday from Blackburn brewery Daniel Thwaites.
The new owners will look to spend £1.4m on the run-down building over the coming months and create between 35-40 new jobs.
The arrival of Wetherspoon follows hot on the heels of Costa Coffee who will be opening new premises on Broadway, replacing the menswear shop Officers Club, which closed several years ago.
A spokesperson for Costa Coffee said it plans to open in May and employ around six staff from the local area.
The Observer reported in January how Regency was boarded up with metal shutters and had been branded ‘a disgrace’ by Hynburn council leader Peter Britcliffe.
Bosses at the Blackburn brewery said the measures were necessary to secure the building.
John Hutson, chief executive of JD Wetherspoon, said: "We are delighted to purchase the pub in Accrington.
"We have been looking to open a pub in the town for many years and I am delighted that it will now come to fruition.
"Wetherspoon has enjoyed great success with its pub in Blackburn and we believe that our new pub in Accrington will prove to be just as successful.
Coun Britcliffe said: "This is fantastic news for Accrington town centre that we are at last able to attract companies like Wetherspoon.
"The building is an eyesore at the moment so the £1.4m that will be spent on it will remove a blot on the town centre landscape.
"It is great that Wetherspoon will look to create up to 40 jobs because in these difficult financial times all new jobs are to be welcomed.
"With Costa Coffee also moving into Broadway it shows that there are some green shoots of recovery in Accrington town centre and shows that it’s on its way up.
"The money that has been spent on Broadway and the Market Hall and Accrington town centre means that it is becoming a town centre to be reckoned with."
Work will begin over the coming months to turn the building into a Wetherspoon pub but no date has been announced as to when it will open.
Andrew Buchanan, Thwaites director of pub operations, said: "Thwaites has this week sold the Regency to JD Wetherspoon. It’s a great pub with huge potential, but it is in a city centre location and is significantly bigger than a typical Thwaites pub which is all about traditional ales and home cooked food in a homely setting. We look forward to seeing the Regency reach is full potential with its new owners."