A POPULAR pub is due to close while final works on a beer garden take place.

The Furness Railway in Barrow will be closed temporarily from Monday while the £750,000 beer garden is completed.

And Wetherspoons bosses have denied that staff would not be paid during the closure unless they took holiday.

The beer garden is being built in the space left by the demolition of the former register office in Abbey Road after fears over the building’s safety.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson explained the new initiative.

He said: “The Furness Railway is an extremely popular pub.

“Our aim is to offer our customers the best pub possible and we believe the new garden will be a welcome addition to the pub.

“The investment highlights Wetherspoon’s commitment to the pub and to Barrow itself.

“Hopefully it will act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the town.”

Concerns were raised that Furness Railway staff would have to travel to another Wetherspoon pub or take holiday if they wanted to be paid during the period of closure.

But bosses have denied.

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said: “The pub team at the Furness Railway were incorrectly advised that they would need to take holiday or work in another local pub for the period that the pub is due to close.

“This is not the case and the situation has been clarified.

“Some staff will remain at the pub while it is closed to prepare for its reopening, whilst others will be offered the chance to work temporarily at our pubs in Morecambe, Kendal or Lancaster if they wish.

“They also have the option to take holiday.

“As a minimum, all employees will be paid their contracted hours for the period of closure, which is not expected to be longer than a week.”

The Furness Railway will be closed from July 26 and reopen on August 2 when the beer garden will be open to pub-goers for the first time.

Work started o n the project in early June.