A DARWEN town centre pub is set for a £300,000 refurbishment later this year.

The Bridgewater, in Church Street, was recently taken over by a new firm after owners the Bramwell Pub Company went into administration.

And the Stonegate Pub Company, which owns well known brands such as Yates’s and Slug and Lettuce, wants to give the pub a new lease of life.

Manager Adam Hulme said the firm had big plans and it was exciting times for the town centre venue.

He said: “There has been £30,000 put aside to renovate the front of the building, which is desperately needed as it has never been done since we opened.

“Then there will be a further £270,000 spent giving the inside of the pub a complete makeover.”

Mr Hulme added that although he hoped the refurbishments would start soon, he was unable to confirm a precise date.

He said: “Stonegate has some great plans for this year and we will continue to do everything we do.

“We will keep supporting local events and local charities and all the quiz nights and events will carry on as normal.”

Mr Hulme was manager at The Bridgewater when it opened in September 2006, then under the Barracuda pubs group.

Barracuda was taken over a couple of years ago by Bramwell, which went into administration in November last year, casting the future of its 185 pubs into doubt.

But later that month it was confirmed The Bridgewater was one of 78 of Bramwell’s pubs to be taken over by Stonegate.

With the arrival of pubs giant JD Wetherspoon in Darwen, Mr Hulme said he was delighted with the added competition.

He said: “I have been waiting for this for two years now and I am delighted.

“It is great to see Wetherspoon’s here and it shows just how strong the town is.

“All it is going to do is bring more people into the town and we can start to create that famous Darwen circuit again.

“The competition is healthy and other town centre pubs are going to benefit.”