A GROUP have put together a bid to try to keep a Lower Darwen pub as part of the community.

Uncle Jacks was put on the market at £160,000 in July by owners Star Pubs and Bars – seven months after it closed.

But it has remained empty since and has become a target for anti-social behaviour.

Now a new group hopes to turn it into a community pub and hub – after speaking to a the people behind the transformation of the Dog Inn in Belthorn.

Friends Alison Duxbury and Heather Leaver have arranged a meeting for those interested in the scheme to get together to brainstorm ideas.

Alison said: “In Lower Darwen, we have no community facility with no centre or pub and we don’t have a bus service so our elderly residents who struggle to get about.

“It means it can be very lonely for them in the winter months and they don’t have anywhere to go.

“So when the pub went up for sale we thought about getting a co-operative group to try to buy the pub because we are worried about them getting isolated.

“We have submitted a bid to the council for it to be considered as an asset of community value and 21 people have signed a petition to save it from being bought by someone and being developed.

“We have far more people interested in it being kept.

“We are looking to buy it as a community on a shareholder basis – there have been other pubs like the Dog Inn at Belthorn who have done it.

The group is holding a meeting on September 19 at Lower Darwen Primary School at 7pm to discuss their plans.

Heather added: “There was a community meeting three weeks ago with Dave Hollins who helped to save the Dog Inn at Belthorn and he talked about the idea.

“We feel this building can be more than a pub, we want to create a hub, where all the community can benefit from this huge building.

“There is no youth clubs locally and we spoke to the local PC about having a place for the young people.

“We have been down to see the pub and viewings are still available with the estate agents.

“We want people to come forward with their ideas and also if they want to buy shares so the pub can re-open.”

Leaflets are set to be distributed about the meeting.