THE soon-to-open JD Wetherspoon pub in Darwen town centre will be handed over by the developers on Thursday.

Architect CT has been busy refurbishing the former Railway Road Methodist Church to transform it into a pub.

The chain plans to open The Old Chapel in the town on January 23, with 40 staff already recruited and in training.

The developers have retained the building’s character and design from when it first opened in 1866. It will also bring back to life the upstairs floor, which had been out of use for many years while the building was used as a supermarket.

Once opened, the pub will be managed by Michael Johnston, who had previously been manager of The Commercial in Accrington, another JD Wetherspoon property.