What now for our new Wetherspoons?

Old Spar, new Wetherspoons, Hough Lane
Old Spar, new Wetherspoons, Hough Lane

That was the question being asked by shoppers and traders in Leyland after a list was drawn up of the chain’s new pubs being opened this year - with one obvious omission.

Plans for the big-name brand in the town’s former post office have been in the pipeline for almost two years.

But after months of planning and minimal work to convert the building one question still remains - how long will this take?

A spokesperson for the pub chain has confirmed they are looking to move into the site in the ‘near future’, but say works are yet to be carried out by the current landlord before they will purchase the building.

Paul Atkinson, from Atkinson’s Jewellers on Hough Lane, said: “Everything seems to have just stopped at the moment.

“I thought Wetherspoons had the building and it was done and dusted.

“It is just an empty shell and a bit of an eyesore at the moment and it looks like things have gone on the back burner.”

Paul says the transformation of the former Spar store is just what the town needs to give it a boost.

He said: “I can see the building from my window and over the last couple of years it has just been so dark. Wetherspoons would just boost the town that little bit more.

“It might just give us some more window shoppers and get people milling around. As far as I’m concerned, the sooner it opens the better.”

Tom Booth, who owns Bean Drinking on Hough Lane, also says he hopes the building will be transformed from an empty shell soon.

He said: “It is a big building that has been boarded up for a while so it would be nice to see big names like Wetherspoons in Leyland.

“Most places have got them and the more we have, the more it puts the town on the map. But I also want to see us retain out independent stores.

“I would have preferred a big retail unit but anything is better than a boarded up building.

“The more places that are on Hough Lane the better.”

A spokesperson for Wetherspoons said: “The situation is still the same. The landlord who owns the site has to complete his works before Wetherspoons will complete the deal to purchase it. Wetherspoons are as keen as ever to open a pub in Leyland.

“We have identified the site but at the moment the landlord is doing agreed works to the property on behalf of Wetherspoons and we appreciate that business people in the area are keen for us to open up.

“Our aim is still to open in the near future but before we can complete on the deal we still need to have the work carried out on site.

“As soon as we get to start building it will appear on our lists on our website.”