KEIGHLEY women wanting to re-open a closed town centre pub said their plans were thrown into disarray after the pub's owners told them intruders had damaged the property.

Mother and daughter pair Pauline Robins and Charlotte Goodall had set their hearts on managing The Star Pub, in North Street.

But Miss Robins said that last Wednesday (Oct 4) her daughter received the shock news from the pub's owner, Punch Taverns, that the process to let the premises to them had been put on hold because the building had been broken into and damaged.

However, a spokesman for Punch Taverns this week denied that the closed pub had been targeted by criminals, stating: "The site hasn’t been broken into. Our security specialist attended site last week and the site is secure."

She added that there are some repairs which need to be carried outside inside the property, and said once these are complete the company would be "reviewing its options" as to what it does with the pub.

Miss Robins, 48, who lives in Ingrow, said she and and her 29-year-old daughter had been left confused and disappointed.

She said after the pub company had first informed her daughter that the property had been broken into, she and her daughter visited the outside of the building.

She said they were mystified to find the metal shutters blocking the pub's windows and doors were still in place, with no sign that anyone had forced their way in.

"It was strange because we didn't see how anyone could have got inside," she added.

"We're supposed to have the pub on hold for us while we get our licenses and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check sorted out. We'd been looking to get the pub open again with the next three or four weeks.

"When my daughter got this call from Punch Taverns they said they'd assess how much damage had been done, and they told us we were still being kept in mind for the pub.

"We do definitely want to take it on. We were really looking forward to opening it up, but now we're not sure what's going to happen."

Miss Robins has previously worked as a barmaid and said it had always been a dream of hers to manage a pub for herself.

She said the central location of The Star, which has been shut for months, was ideal for both herself and her daughter, who has three children and lives in Highfield.

Miss Robins said: "We want this pub to be our livelihood. We'd start as licensees and if that goes well we'd look into buying it.

"Until we got the bad news from the owners we'd been coming up with so many plans, including using the pub as a base for charity fundraising."