Community step up fight to keep the Plungington Hotel open
Hundreds of people have joined a campaign to save "one of the best pubs in Preston".
Admiral Taverns, who took over the Plungington Hotel in Lytham Road last year, have confirmed this week that they are looking to dispose of the site as it "no longer had a long term sustainable future" with the group.
>>>Read what Admiral Taverns have to say here
Shocked locals - concerned by rumours the pub and it's large beer garden could be sold to a housing developer - are now looking at ways to safeguard the premises future as a pub.
Jonny Swift, 32, who has previously worked at the pub, started a Facebook group called Can We Keep The Plungington Hotel Open?, that has attracted over 860 members in two days.
He said: "I've worked at the Plungy and at the Withy Trees and 18 months ago, I bought a house directly in the middle of them, but now they're both gone.
"There's nothing left in this area, and I'm keen to get the community to rally round and see what we can do to save the pub. We might be able to reach a group of people who are interested in taking it over."
He added: "Since starting the group, it's spiraled, and I've had so many messages of support. There is very definitely an appetite for people wanting to go to pubs.
"We really believe people want to come to here - it was so successful for the previous guys and the gin festival's were amazing. I used to come back and work on those for free, because I enjoyed it so much."
Carl Feher who runs a hair salon next to the pub, said: "This is massive news, everyone locally is up in arms.
"It really is the heart of the community, especially with the Withy Trees and Checco's going, there's nothing else round here."
He added: "To say it's unsustainable is rubbish. I can tell you that that pub has been busier in the past four years than it has been in the previous 20."
Cadley Councillor John Potter has thrown his weight behind the campaign, and has set up a petition of interest for those who want to keep the pub open.
He said: "It was one of the best pubs in Preston, and I am all for helping the community. What they're doing is right - don't wait for a housing application to go in, rally round now and so if anything happens, you're ready to say 'absolutely not'."
He added: "In the past year, people have realised the things we take for granted, such as local parks and being able to go to the pub.
"There is no doubt that there has been an uplift in people drinking at home, but people have been so isolated, and they want to be able to go to a pub or a beer garden with their friends.
"This pub was more than just a boozer, it was somewhere you could go after finishing your shift or with your family for a meal."
To find out more information and to sign the petition, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2522396204730015/