Rimington villagers reject chance to save only pub

VILLAGERS have rejected the chance to save their only pub from being converted into a house.

The Black Bull, which closed in October, was placed on the Community Asset Register by Rimington Parish Council, giving the community first refusal on buying the business if it was put up for sale.

But parish council chairman Bob Whittaker said the pub ‘has reached the end of the road’ after only six residents attended a public meeting on the future of the pub on Wednesday night.

The pub’s co-owners, Steve Hodgson and Katherine Lachance, have stated their intention to apply to the borough council to change the use of the building if the community decided not to take the pub on.

They took over the Rimington Lane pub in 2011 and turned it into a traditional French country inn. However, the pair closed the pub in summer 2012 for six months before it reopened under new management.

Mr Whittaker said: “It looks like this is the end of the road for the pub. It has been going downhill for 18 months and fewer and fewer people were turning up to support it.

“I’m disappointed that it has reached this stage and only six people turned up to the meeting.

“None of them expressed an interest in taking the pub on so it seems likely that it will be lost to the village.

“I’ve had a long association with the pub and I used to use it quite a bit; my wife Hazel even worked there for 12 years.

“The borough council could reject the plan to convert the building into a dwelling of course, but I doubt the village will see a pub opening up again.”

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