A national pub chain has pipped a local church to the post in the race to buy the former liberal club in Garforth.
Dayspring Church had been interested in acquiring the property in the town centre but it will now been taken over by the Wetherspoon chain.
The property on Main Street – formally the Garforth Liberal Club – has been an integral part of the community for more than 100 years.
A statement from the church said: “We were disappointed not to complete the purchase of 37 Main Street after a long process.
“Our hope was to use the space to meet as a church and a home for our office and counselling centre. We were also exploring how we could make the building available for wider community use.”
The church had a number of plans for the space, including using it as a food bank, but instead the building will be the latest acquisition for Wetherspoon, who own a thousand outlets in the UK.
Eddie Gershon, of Wetherspoon, said: “We have enjoyed great success in the region and are keen to open in Garforth. We have acquired a wonderful building and are keen to develop it.
“We believe that a Wetherspoon pub in Garforth will be an asset to the town and also act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the area.”
The building’s sale has been an ongoing issue in the town, with many residents voicing concerns over the use of the property.
Councillor Mark Dobson said: “It is disappointing for Dayspring and their aspirations to create a community centre which is something I supported.
“I’ve listened to comments from residents. Many are welcoming the arrival of a Wetherspoon, but many have concerns around licensing hours and the impact on local businesses. I look forward to working with Wetherspoon constructively.”