THREE regulars at a pub that closed down were so upset to lose their local they went and bought it.

When the Crown Inn, in Manchester Road, Haslingden, closed, Ben Greenwood, 28, Stephen Sourbutts, 27, and Lindsay McGuire, 31, lost the pub they had been drinking in all their adult lives.

But instead of watching another pub go to the wall, the three clubbed together and, after months of haggling, bought the pub for £105,000.

They received the keys at the end of January but have since spent £45,000 transforming it into a cosy, modern pub, and it finally opened this weekend under the new name of The Green Squirrel, after a cricket team the friends used to play in.

Ben said: “When it closed down it was a bit run down and was cold and dark. We wanted to do it up and make it more modern and welcoming.”

After it closed, the pub went to auction, but failed to sell. Shortly after a buyer agreed a deal but failed to find the money, giving the group another chance.

“We had some money saved up,” said Ben, “and we’ve borrowed a bit more to make it happen.

“We are really buzzing at the moment. You always dream of owning your local and now it is happening to us.

“This is the pub we used to meet in when we were 18.”

All three are to continue with their day jobs while helping out in the pub where possible. Lindsay is a plumber, Stephen an engineer and Ben a farrier.

Ben said: “It was packed all weekend. We’ve had positive feedback.

A raffle was held on the opening night for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) in memory of regular Luke Dickinson who died in 2009.