THE future of an historic Ribble Valley pub has been thrown into doubt after it closed its doors.

The grade II-listed Whalley Arms has been shut early in advance of the official end of the tenant’s lease agreement with owners Enterprise Inns.

The company has confirmed that it is in talks with the tenant, Guy Cornwell, to bring forward the end of his contract but have not disclosed if or when the pub will reopen.

Despite attempts to contact Mr Cornwell, the Lancashire Telegraph have been unable to contact him.

The closure comes after a number of complaints were received by Ribble Valley Council last year about the condition of the building, located in the centre of the village.

Councillor Joyce Holgate, who represents the village on the council, said at the time that the building looked neglected and that the gutters were rotten and water was seeping inside.

Cllr Terry Hill, who also is a ward councillor for Whalley, said: “The future of this building is a concern for me and for residents.

“It is a classic-style building which was built in the 18th century and it needs to be preserved.

“I hope that a deal can be done to make sure it returns to public use as soon as possible whether that be as a pub, hotel or something different.

“The car park next to he pub, which is also owned by Enterprise Inns, also needs to be sorted out because it is still causing problems for visitors to the village.

“I hope that a new regime at the pub will lower the parking fines and make it easier for the public to use the car park.

“It’s an important part of Whalley despite it’s popularity seeming to decrease in recent years and I hope something can be done.”

The Whalley pub, located in King Street, was constructed in 1781 and became an English Heritage listed building in 1986.

A spokesperson from Enterprise Inns said the decision to close the pub was by the current publicans and they are working to secure the future of the pub.

He said: “The Whalley Arms is currently closed following the publican’s decision to cease trading in advance of the official end of his lease.

“We are now in talks regarding a mutually agreeable date to bring forward the termination of his agreement so he can leave.”