BOSSES at a once-notorious pub plagued by anti-social behaviour have been rewarded for turning it around.

Alex and Karen Frankland have only been in charge at The Navigation, in Mill Hill, Blackburn, for nine months, but have won a special award.

The East Lancashire branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) has named the pub, in Canal Street, its ‘most improved pub of the year’.

And a delighted Alex said it was further evidence of a major turnaround at the pub.

He said: “The pub has had some bad press over the years, and what we have done is a big achievement. We did the pub up and the beer garden, and got rid of all the idiots.

“We have also got five cask ale lines in now, and two different lagers.

“Since we took over, we have been given Cask Marque and Guinness Marque status.”

Alex said regulars had welcomed all he had achieved. He said: “Everyone is happy with us and it is a very well supported pub. The award came as a big shock and we were absolutely delighted. It is really nice to have all our hard work recognised.”

Blackburn police licensing boss Sergeant Jason Middleton said: “The Navigation went through a bit of a bad period, but I am really pleased they have turned it around. The new licensees are very pro-police.”

Andrew Buchanan, director of pub operations at pub owners Thwaites, said: “Thwaites has been very proud to support Alex and Karen in breathing new life into The Navigation. They should be very proud.”