A RIBBLE Valley pub has edged one step closer to being saved after the community rallied together to raise cash to buy it.

The Duke of York closed last year and it meant the village of Grindleton had no pubs and no regular meeting places, apart from the village hall.

An application was submitted to turn it into a house, business premises and holiday cottages but council chiefs knocked back the plans and now the Grade II-listed building has been put back on the market.

Grindleton Community Pub Ltd has been set up and members want to turn it into a community pub and cafe.

The group had set a deadline to raise cash needed to buy it but, after an emotional few days, 198 individual investors had rallied together to get £273,670.

John Halley, Chair of the Steering Group, said: “What amazing support we have had. There is no limit to what can be achieved when we pull together.

“The support we have received has been overwhelming, from both near and far.

“We will have some hard work and challenges ahead but together we will succeed.

“We thought it was a real mountain to climb going into the last two days.

“We managed to get £40,000 investment in the last hour which is incredible as, with two days to go, we thought £200,000 would have been great.

“The average investment by people is £1,300 and that shows that people have really bought into the idea of trying to save the community pub and we must now build on the momentum.”

Meanwhile, the Bowland Trust is match funding with £135,000 and, with a further £45,000, the group has got a total of £453,670.

Now, they are looking to carry out renovations to the building to restore it to its former glory.

Mr Halley added: “We believe the money we have raised will help to provide a community pub and café that is inclusive and welcoming, serving reasonably priced, good quality food and drink in a friendly setting.

“Our next challenge is to talk to the property developer who owns it about trying to buy it.

“We have to enter into discussions with them and if the sale goes through then we can go and refurbish it.

“There is still a huge amount of work to be done but with the momentum of getting money we want to capitalise on the good mood of people getting behind it. We don’t want to let the community down by not being able to try to turn it into a community pub and cafe.”

To find out more, visit grindletonpub.co.uk