THE future of two Burnley pubs appears uncertain in the latest blow to the borough’s licensed trade.

The Sun Inn, Burnley Road, Haggate, and the Craven Heifer, Briercliffe Road, Burnley, have both shut their doors within days of each other.

Villagers have voiced hopes that the two hostelries will reopen, amid claims that bargain supermarket prices could be forcing landlords out of business.

Coun Margaret Lishman, who represents Briercliffe ward on Burnley Council, said: “It is a very hard climate for landlords at the moment, particularly as alcohol can be bought so much cheaper in supermarkets than pubs.

“Pubs have to diversify if they want to survive.

"We used to go to the quiz at the Craven Heifer, and friends used to go to the quiz at the Sun Inn.

"The Sun Inn also had a big screen for the football and live bands, so it is a loss to the community.

“It is sad these pubs have closed and we must hope that someone is able to take them on.”

Bill Ransome, 73, of Harle Syke, said: “It is just a sign of the times unfortunately.

You see it with a lot of village pubs now.

“Beer prices have gone up and up, and the breweries always want their cut.

“There won’t be any left soon and it’s too far to go into town.”

The Haggate and Briercliffe Road area still have the Hare and Hounds, and the Commercial Inn.

Other pubs on the same side of Burnley, such as The Old Duke, Briercliffe Road; the former Derby Arms, Colne Road; and the land-mark Duke of York, Duke Bar; are all shut and seeking new owners.

The future of the Sun Inn, at the corner of Burnley Road and Nelson Road, is still under review.

Jo Navin, Punch Taverns spokes-man, said: “It is always our priority that our pubs are open and trading and serving their local communities.

“We are currently looking to resolve some issues with our licensees at the Sun Inn so are not in a position to provide a further update at this stage.”