Blackpool businessman and former Mayor Robert Wynne has revealed he is ready to step in and purchase a historic pub in the town should a community bid to open it fail.
Mr Wynne said he was on the verge of buying the Blue Room on Church Street last August but the deal was put on hold when the venue was made a community asset.
As reported in The Gazette, a not-for-profit society, 139 Church Street Community Pub Limited, is hoping to raise between £250,000 and £300,000 by April 7 from the sale of shares to buy the hostelry which has been closed since 2015.
Mr Wynne, who already owns the West Coast Rock Cafe, The Pump and Truncheon and the Rose and Crown in Blackpool and previously ran the Blue Room for eight years, said he already has finance in place.
He said: “I am aware a group of former customers at the pub have formed a committee and are trying to raise the money to re-open the pub.
“I wish them all the best and if they are successful I will be the first one to buy a pint, but if they aren’t then I am ready to step in.
“We have a great, fully costed plan to turn the pub into a genuine real ale, craft beer and unique cider pub.
“We would install a micro brewery on site and all our beers would either be brewed on the premises, or come from independent, small local brewers.”
Mr Wynne pulled out of running the Blue Room in 2008 to concentrate on his other businesses and his mayoralty.
He was about to exchange contracts but when the pub became a community asset, Enterprise Inns was obliged to re-open bids to potential community operators.
Mr Wynne added: “If the local community group don’t raise the money, and we estimate they will need in excess of £250,000 just to get it open as it is now, then we are ready to go and have the funding in place.”
Gareth Wright, one of five directors currently heading up the society, says they also want to have a brewing facility as well as providing performance and exhibition space, and meeting space for local charities and community groups.
He added: “We are not doing it for profit or any glory for ourselves - we just want to see the pub open and doing good things for the community.”