A FORMER pub which suddenly closed earlier this year is set to be bought up by Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The local authority is working to secure a deal to buy the Blackamoor Inn, Blackburn, in a bid to stave off other interested parties.

Council bosses say the building and car park would be a strategic acquisition to help them control the future use of the building, which is next to a key housing development site on council-owned land.

Borough executive member for growth and development, Cllr Phil Riley, said: “Should the building and car park be acquired by someone other than the council, this could potentially have a detrimental impact on the council’s regeneration plans for the area by an inappropriate use, low quality development or long term empty building.

“The land and building are currently marketed together, inviting offers over £165,000 plus VAT. This would be a strategic acquisition in terms of controlling the future use of the building and to support the council’s wider property and highways regeneration proposals.

“The building will provide valuable site welfare facilities during construction works, with the car park ideally suited to a temporary site compound.

“Following completion of the highways scheme, it is envisaged that the car park be absorbed into the housing development site to be delivered on the council’s adjacent land.

“Once the building has been vacated and is no longer used as site welfare facilities, options will be explored for its future use, which will be subject to detailed discussions with planning and consultation with key stakeholders.

“The council has made an offer which has been accepted subject to contract and committee approval and an early exchange.”

The Blackamoor Inn, which has been part of Blackburn for more than 300 years, has been boarded up since trading ceased suddenly in March.

The pub had previously shut in the summer of 2016 and an action group, backed by Blackburn’s MP, Kate Hollern, was formed to fight the closure.

A previous owner of Uncle Jack’s in Ewood, Donna Almond, took the pub on.

Regulars at the pub picked up paint brushes and sanders in a bid to complete a full refurbishment of the Roman Road pub before its grand reopening in April 2017.

But less than two years later, the doors closed again because of a lack of trade and the building has remained empty over the last six months.

The cost of the acquisition will be shared between the Local Transport Plan budget and funds available in the Affordable Housing Section 106 reserve.