A GROUP of villagers has got together in a bid to save their community's only pub.

Blackburn-based brewing giant Thwaites has decided to sell off the Punch Bowl in Burton-in-Lonsdale.

Now residents are trying to raise the cash to put in a bid for the pub and have formed a steering committee to try to get the backing of other villagers.

They have already succeeded in getting the pub listed as "an asset of community value."

Committee chairman Mike Lavelle said that the group was in the process of putting together all the information needed to put their proposal before the village.

He said: "Obviously there are important implications for Burton-in-Lonsdale - it's a financial commitment for a start. Once we have got everything in place we shall be calling a meeting to put our plans before everyone in the village. Hopefully, that will take place in the next three weeks or so."

Burton-in-Lonsdale has a history of making a success of community-run enterprises - its village shop won an award for best rural retailer in the north-west in 2008 and was also a regional finalist several times in subsequent years.

A spokesperson for Thwaites said: “While The Punch Bowl is no longer sustainable under the Thwaites estate model, the pub is popular locally and has been successfully registered as an asset of community value.

"This order grants the community until the end of September to raise a purchase offer. The pub has been independently valued at £250,000.

"Thwaites will be very happy to work with the community, or any other interested party, should an offer be made.”