A Blackburn woman has quit her hospital job to take the helm of a community pub, that she has visited as a punter for 27 years.

Linda Holden, and husband Trevor Holden, are the new managers of The Ivy Hotel, which has been closed for months.

It’s set to reopen on August 9 and Linda said she is excited to bring the pub back to the community.

She said: “It was heartbreaking [to see it close] and we missed it. 

“Unless you live around here and are used to going into The Ivy [you wouldn’t understand what it means to the community].

"It is full of football traffic, regulars and children. Since it closed there are many people we don't get to see as often.”

Linda is leaving her job at Blackburn Hospital in order to manage the pub. Linda and Trevor have also put their house up for rent, which they lived in for 27 years, as they are moving into the pub. Linda said she wants to bring the “heartbeat” back to both the pub and the town.

She said: “It’s the Ivy, it’s our community pub and that is the sole reason why I went for it. We want the heartbeat back in the area because the heartbeat has gone.

“The pub used to be a happy, family place and that is what we want to get it back to."

Linda doesn’t have any experience working in pubs but think she has what it takes to restore the pub back to life, thanks to her reputation as a long-term punter.

She said: “I can pull a pint but that is as far as [my experience] goes! But we’ve had a lot of support from people.

“It’s quite daunting but I thought ‘why not have a go?’. We weren’t in a position to go for it last year but we always said if the opportunity came again we’d go for it.

“I know how the locals feel [about the pub’s closure] because I am one of them.

“We couldn't afford to lose another pub in the area.”

Linda has thanked everyone for their support, since she announced the takeover. The pub will reopen after repairs and maintenance are carried out.

Linda said: “I can’t wait to open. I am just looking forward to having everybody back together again and people enjoying each other’s company.

“The support we’ve had has been absolutely phenomenal. So many people have messaged and said they are excited to come back.”

A spokesperson from Daniel Thwaites said: “The Ivy Hotel is set to re-open early in August now that we have agreed terms with a local couple.

“We are having to carry out repairs and maintenance to ensure the pub is back in good order for the opening night, following getting possession of the pub back from the previous tenant.

“This includes all new beer dispense kit to guarantee great quality beer is served, and we’re looking forward to the pub becoming the heart of the local community once again.”