A FORMER Conservative club is set to be given a new lease of life as a plush restaurant and community hub.

Businesswoman Catherine Chadwick has bought the former Bacup Conservative Club, in Irwell Terrace, and is planning to spend £180,000 on its transformation.

She is also creating three front of house jobs at the large two-storey building, built in the 1890s.

Mrs Chadwick, who also owns Bacup Hub and leases part of St Mary’s Chambers, is working with Wendy Lord from the Natural History Society to bring the key themes of Bacup’s past to life in historical images on the hall’s walls, while modernising by hanging chandeliers and offering fine food and drink.

She said: “It’s very much going to be a community facility, with cheap rates for people wishing to hire it. But we want it to be opulent, with black and silver decor, and plush leather furniture.

“Even though market research is 50/50 as to whether the people of Bacup would go to somewhere more fancy, I think if we bring it here, people will come and enjoy it.

“It’s very accessible, with the bus station right outside, which isn’t the case for Bacup Hub.

“We’re trying to regenerate the town, and will model the club on St Mary’s Chambers.

“We’re going to create a terraced area outside to catch the sun in the right seasons.

“We want it to be somewhere for people to go after work for a glass of champagne in a lovely setting.

“We’ve a number of things planned for the club. We’re in talks to bring a farmer’s market to the club, while also having a bistro in the day, and a restaurant after 5pm.”

Mrs Chadwick is hoping to have the restaurant area of the venue, which will be renamed Chadwick’s, open in time for Mother’s Day.

For more information, call 01706 557127.