Neighbours are ramping up their campaign to save a historic pub that 'has been the beating heart of the village for almost 300 years'. 

The Grade II listed Cross Gaits has been a part of life in Blacko since 1736. 

However, in summer last year, plans were lodged to turn it into a house and build a second house on its car park. They were refused by the council. 

The Cross Gaits  closed in early 2023, when its then landlords said the future of the pub was "uncertain"

Now, villagers have banded together to form the Cross Gaits Community Pub Group to try and save the landmark. 

Mark Ridehalgh, chairman of the committee, said: “The Cross Gaits has been the beating heart of the village for almost 300 years, so when we found out it was due to close for good, it really did send shock waves around the area.

“After speaking to a number of villagers, we realised that there was a real appetite to save the pub and a committee was formed.

“We want not only to bring it back to life but make it a true community hub for all. 

Lancashire Telegraph: An historic photo outside the pub

A historic photo outside the pub

“This is going to take a whole heap of effort and a lot of cash, but we believe that if we have the weight of the community behind us, we can do this, and we are willing to sacrifice our time and effort to do whatever we can to pull it off.” 

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The committee is carrying out a survey in the area to ascertain the opinion of other residents. 

Mark added: “It’s our vision to have an open, friendly space, serving pub grub done well, coffee and cakes during the day, with quiet spaces for remote workers, and holding live music nights and community events.

“The Cross Gaits beer garden was legendary, and we would want to bring this back to life for the pleasure of local community, walkers, and visitors alike. We would also like to host caravans and perhaps have our own pods or shepherds’ huts, if planning allowed.” 

They are now seeking support of the Blacko and surrounding communities, whether that be through the offer of specific skills, talents, or donations, which will all help towards their end goal. 

The group urges anyone who would like to have their say to fill out this survey.

Mark added: “The Cross Gaits has been serving good ale for 288 years and we will not stand by and let this cherished establishment die on our watch and be lost for the next generations to come.

“Once it is gone that is it, it will be gone forever.” 

Anyone who would like to get involved further can email: