A COMMUNITY is in shock after a popular pub closed its doors last week.

Metal boarding and shutters have gone up on the Uncle Jacks pub on Branch Road after it shut last Friday night.

Pub chiefs from Star Pubs and Bars are looking for new licensees so the pub in Lower Darwen can re-open.

Cllr John Slater, who represents Lower Darwen and Blackburn South ward, said: “The pub has had a number of landlords over the past couple of years.

“I am surprised it has closed and the pub company could not get temporary management in place for Christmas so they could keep it ticking over during Christmas which is worrying.

“It is also worrying that we may not have a pub open there. There are not many in the village and you have to go up to The Fernhurst.

“I am confident there is a strong business case for a pub in the village and I just hope that someone can come forward to take it on.

“It would be a shame if it was to shut permanently for a long time.”

In September, the Lancashire Telegraph reported that the owners were looking for new licensees and they were looking to transform it with a refurbishment package including calling it ‘The Jack Walker’ including a photo of the multi-millionaire steel magnate, who oversaw the club’s rise from the old First Division to Premier League champions.

Cllr Slater added: “Names change over time. The main thing is that it re-opens.

“It is quite a poignant name and tribute to Jack Walker especially all he did for Blackburn Rovers.”

Cllr Phil Riley, who is in charge of regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "It is disappointing to see that a pub has had to close but it is difficult times for pubs. They are facing competition from supermarkets and market conditions.”

A Star Pubs and Bars spokesman said: “We are continuing to try and recruit a new licensee who can take over the running of this pub, whilst we consider options for its future. We would like to apologise for its temporary closure in the meantime.”