THE former site of "Britain’s toughest" pub has been given a new lease of life, after being re-opened as a supermarket.
The Flying Shuttle, in Highfield Road, Farnworth, was shut down by Bolton Council in 2012 after evidence of drug taking, arson attacks and staff too scared to tell customers to leave was uncovered.
Licensing officers described it as a pub “not even John Wayne could run” and after it was closed, regulars targeted the site in a series of arson attacks.
More than two years later, a Nisa Local supermarket has officially opened on the site.
The 2,900 sq ft supermarket cost six figures to build in a refurbishment lasting 18 months.
It has car parks at the front and back entrances, while five flats have also been built above the shop.
The refurbishment was carried out by Bolton-based property developer Lee Das.
Mr Das, aged 31, said: “I’m looking forward to bringing something new and fresh to the town.
“The supermarket looks amazing — very futuristic. Everyone I’ve spoken to who’s seen the place have been really inspired by it.
“I know about the history of this site, but the past is the past and it’s been completely banished.
“Hopefully this is the start of something good for Farnworth.”
Mr Das carried out work on the site along with his brother Krishna.
Krishna, aged 26, added: “Anything that we can add to the community will hopefully have a positive impact.
“The building looks splendid, it’s really built to last. There have been peaks and troughs along the way, but it’s all worth it when you see it like this.”
The supermarket will donate a margin of its profits to Making a Difference Locally, a charity which helps independently run local stores to add value to their communities.
Farnworth councillor Noel Spencer, an old customer of The Flying Shuttle, is optimistic about the potential of the new supermarket.
He said: “It’s a very welcome part of the plan to regenerate the whole area.
“I used to be quite a regular at The Flying Shuttle years ago and I was sad to see the pub’s decline.
“But we must forget about the past and focus on the new lease of life this development will hopefully give the area.”