Brian buys up his local pub

The Running Pump Inn, Catforth
The Running Pump Inn, Catforth
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Builder Brian Staines was devastated when his local pub closed and was put up for sale – so he bought it.

Now Brian plans to refurbish and reopen The Running Pump at Catforth, near Preston, as a focal point of the village.

The popular pub, which also included what was reputed to be Lancashire’s smallest shop, closed earlier this year, leaving villagers devastated.

Owners Robinsons, represented by international real estate advisor Savills, put the two-storey building up for sale at a guide price of £275,000.

Brian, who lives nearby, said he felt strongly that the building should stay a pub – so he bought it and now has plans to develop it.

He said: “It has been sorely missed. It was the last pub left in the village. I bought it with the intention of making sure that it is here for everybody for many years to come.”

Brian said he hoped to appoint a manager and carry out improvements and alterations.

If work is approved, he hopes to open next Spring.

He added: “This is a long-term plan for me and I may eventually put it in trust for future generations.”

News of the deal was announced by Savills this week.

Tom Cunningham, associate director at Savills, said: “The Running Pump is a popular and successful local pub and we are very pleased to have assisted in making sure that it is retained within the local village.”

The pub hit the headlines last year for having what was said to be the county’s smallest shop.

Under former landlord Craig Carter, the shop proved extremely popular with locals. Craig said at the time: “There’s no corner shop around here – it’s about three miles one way and three miles the other to the nearest. So we thought we would set up a shop.”

It was converted from an old corner of the pub, and was just 6ft square.