A pub in Darwen has closed its doors and the brewery in charge say the pub as we know it may never reopen.

The British Queen in Duckworth Street, Darwen, closed in December and the owners had their final farewell party on New Year’s Eve.

Thwaites, the brewery in charge of the pub, say due to rising costs they are currently reviewing the viability of the pub and exploring alternative uses for it.

Teri Sumner-Sears, who was the pubs landlady for nearly two years, said: "The customers were amazing and lovely and i now class some of them as friends for life.

"It’s been an important community pub for so long in Darwen, it’s a shame to see it go.

"It was a place where people could enter on their own and leave with new friends, it was a comfortable place for people to come and relax after work."

A spokesperson for Thwaites hopes the pub will remain an important part of the community “albeit in a different form”.

Andrew Buchanan, director of pubs and brewing for Thwaites, said: “With cost rises, particularly utilities, we are currently reviewing the ongoing viability of the British Queen as a pub and are looking at possible alternative uses.

“We'd like to thank both the team and customers who have supported The British Queen over the years and now look for opportunities in which the property can come back as an important part of the community, albeit in a different form.”

Almost 400 pubs in England and Wales closed this year, according to government data by real estate adviser Altus group.

This worked out to 32 pubs disappearing from communities each month in the two countries.

The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 39,787 in December compared with 40,173 at the same point last year.

In the last five years, a total of 2,663 pubs have shut their doors.

Pubs in Lancashire have also fallen victim to rising energy bills and the cost of living crisis.

The Station Bar and Grill in Clitheroe, The Crown and Thistle Inn in Hoddlesden, and Blackburn’s The Sir Charles Napier and The Red Lion, are just some of the pubs we waved goodbye to in 2022.

Some pubs that closed in 2022 have since obtained new owners, such as The Park Hotel in Great Harwood, which reopened on Monday (January 10).

New landlady Elizabeth Adshead hopes to transform it into a community hub.