A TOWN centre pub that was once home to one of Blackburn’s newspapers is undergoing a £150,000 revamp.

The Blackburn Times, which is opposite King George’s Hall and was the former home of the 19th century newspaper of the same name, closed last week. The bar area is being improved, the menu expanded and crucial work on the toilets carried out.

Landlady, Leanne Morrison, said the decision came after comments from regulars about the pub’s facilities.

She said: “Sadly our place has been worn lately, so we are undertaking a big refurbishment.

“Taking into consideration customer feedback we have ripped out the toilets and are starting again.

“We are aiming to still be a nice social and sports bar but will also be targeting weekend custom with our new range of gins, wines and cocktails.

“All our staff have had gin and cocktail training so we’re looking forward to serving these up.”

Mrs Morrison, along with husband, Kyeran, who has been landlord of The Times for the last six years, said the pub is also welcoming the addition of a karaoke booth, which will allow customers to sing in private, or broadcast their renditions to the rest of the pub.

They are also improving disability access, with a lift so people can access the split-level space.

Mrs Morrison added: “Karaoke booths are really popular in other towns so we’re hoping it will take off.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on new piping for the bathrooms and new tiles and will be creating a more modern look.

“Prices will stay the same and there’ll be lots of drinks offers on, and our loyalty cards points scheme will still stand.”

Mr and Mrs Morrison are hoping that the refurbishment will attract new customers, and will help to revive Blackburn’s nightlife.

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Mrs Morrison, 30, said: “What we’re hoping is that if custom increases, we can put a request in to reopen the cellar, which used to be F J Nicols, and turn it into a kind of club.

“F J Nichols was really popular and we want to bring a little bit of that back to Blackburn.

“We get really busy during the day but we want to attract more clients and improve the nightlife in the town.”

The Blackburn Times, Northgate, will be reopening to the public on Friday.

Doors will open at 6pm, with the bar being open till late.