A village's last remaining pub has been declared an 'Asset of Community Value', to the delight of locals fighting to keep it going in its present form.
Residents fear that the Hapton Inn, recently sold to a mystery buyer at auction, could be closed as a pub and converted into a house.
The sale prompted local businessman Kevin Furber and other Hapton residents to form The Friends of Hapton Inn, a group which has been instrumental in lobbying Hapton Parish Council and Burnley Borough Council in granting an ACV on the building.
Kevin said: "We are delighted that Burnley Council has agreed with us that the Hapton Inn really is a community asset. It's more than just a pub, it is a vital part of Hapton's heritage.
"A local village pub, especially these days when so many are closing down, really is vital to a small community. The Hapton Inn has played a key role in the history of the village and continues to do so to this day.
"It was used as a meeting place in the immediate aftermath of the Hapton Valley pit disaster as well as a mortuary. It has served locals through the two world wars and has hosted meetings of the parish council and the local hunt.
"There used to be five pubs in the village. Keeping the Hapton Inn alive is especially important to the older residents in the village who have seen so many other community assets closed over theyears.
"It is important to remember as well that the population of Hapton is growing. It has grown by 20% over the last five years. There are several new housing developments currently happening which will have had sales particualrs mentioning a local pub."
Mr Furber has said he now wants to locate the buyer of the pub to discuss buying it with the intention of retaining it as a pub. He has also said that some local people had expressed an interest in buying a share in any such venture.
If anyone would like to contact Kevin they can call 07850 732 867.