Work underway at Wetherspoons

The transformation of one of Leyland’s landmark buildings is hotting up in readiness for the arrival of Wetherspoons.

As revealed in last week’s Guardian, the pub giant has confirmed it is definitely opening up in the former Spar shop in Hough Lane.

The pub/restaurant will cost £730,000, and will be called The Leyland Lion.

It is expected to create around 35 jobs.

A new application has been sent to South Ribble Borough Council, which includes an advertising scheme, installing 10 CCTV cameras, and lighting and ventilation equipment.

Last week, the front windows were removed and boarded up.

Sally Hunter owns the adjoining Heaven on Earth beauty and hairdressing salon, and broadly welcomed the imminent arrival of the pub giant.

She said: “I’m pleased to see something new coming to the town.

“I have got some concerns, but I’m sure if it’s managed properly it will be good for Leyland.

“It’s nice to see a new business coming as a lot of small shops have closed.

“They took the windows out last week, and I think they’re going to change the shop front.”

The businesswoman said it was important that there weren’t too many empty premises in Hough Lane.

“It has been empty for 18 months and it’s not good when you’ve got a derelict building,” she said.

Another local shopkeeper, who asked not to be named, said: “They’ve completely gutted it inside.

“Some work has been done to the top floor as well, so already it looks completely different.”

A date for the opening of The Leyland Lion has not been made public.

The name comes from the famous Leyland Motors’ Lion bus, and the idea came from architectural design company, rjd.

A spokesman for the company said: “The Lion bus proved to be a winner for Leyland Motors, and, by 1928, around 2,500 Lion buses had been sold and were in use all over the world.

“Around this time, Leyland’s main motor works were still concentrated on the north and south sides of Hough Lane, near the former Spar and Post Office site.”

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