Pub chain Enterprise Inns is set to begin a refurbishment programme on an historic village inn.
And that is just days after Ribble Valley Borough Council agreed to list it as an “asset of community value.”
The once popular White Bull, in Ribchester, has been closed for 13 months.
It is currently available to let on a new lease or tenancy.
The stone-built inn is a Grade II listed building, which dates back to 1707.
Concerns that it might be sold for other uses and cease to be a pub led the parish council to make the formal request to the borough council to list it as an asset.
Such listing puts a temporary block on any sale of the pub, giving the community an opportunity to gather resources to put in a bid.
The pub is listed in Ribble Valley Council’s conservation appraisal as “an iconic building of special historic and architectural interest.”
It is renowned for its historic charm and its landmark pillars and carved white bull over its door.
The pillars are popularly thought to have once been part of Ribchester’s Roman fort.
The pub itself has rear views over the remains of a Roman bathhouse. The parish council told the borough that the village had already lost many shops.
It noted the White Bull was of such importance to the appearance of the village that it should not be allowed to be used for other than its original purpose.
It added “The parish council believes that if this is genuinely not possible, then the building could be used for local recreational and cultural purposes.”
The letting agents are Fleurets and spokesman Ian Taylor said the refurbishment work was being carried out with the intention of attracting new tenants and getting the pub re-opened as soon as possible. The Enterprise Inns website notes “We have an exciting refurbishment planned at this pub ,which will include extensive internal and external decoration with new lighting, flooring, fixtures and fittings and a landscaped beer garden.
“The internal trading area will be revamped to offer a contemporary ambience complemented by the traditional features of the pub.
“New fixtures and fittings and flooring will give the internal trading area a fresh look.
“The external trading area will be decorated with new lighting and a landscaped beer garden will create a beautiful attraction for the summer months.”