A deal to buy a derelict pub could pave the way for the regeneration of a historic former mill, it has been claimed.
South Ribble Council has shelled out £500,000 to buy the former Mackenzie Arms pub on Station Road, Bamber Bridge, which it hopes can be used as an entrance onto the neighbouring Wesley Street Mill site.
It expects to demolish the building within the next fortnight.
Cliff Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, said the deal gave it a seat at the decision-making table.
He said: “We believe in this site and believe it is in the interests of Bamber Bridge and South Ribble that we first tidy up this site and second do something positive with the former mill.
“This is our commitment to get someone now to do something with it.
“We cannot get too carried away because this is just one step on the road, but it gives the council control over what happens on the mill site.
“Now we are a partner in whatever is going to happen there.”
The councillor said the authority was continuing to speak with the owners, Isle of Man-based Excelsior Properties about its plans for the site but admitted it would need a multi-million pound investment to restore the former mill.
He said: “There were businesses in there for a while but it was not going anywhere and the truth is it is falling apart now.
“The people who live next to it see it as an eyesore and we have recognised something needs to happen with it.”