EFFORTS are under way to ensure an established Keighley town centre pub which shut its doors early this month can re-open for business.

Ei Publican Partnerships, which owns the Commercial Inn, explained talks were being held with the licensee of the Church Street premises.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are currently in discussions with the publican at The Commercial Inn, Keighley. We would like to reassure local people that the site will continue to trade as a pub for the benefit of the local community.”

The Commercial Inn’s closure follows a year in which three other town pubs were either shut or confirmed as having no prospect of re-opening.

These included the Burlington Arms, in Market Street, the Globe, in Parkwood Street and The Star, in North Street.

While the Globe is now covered in scaffolding, the Burlington Arms is up for sale. The Star, which has been shut since 2017, is in the process of being converted into offices.

Since 2005, at least eight other Keighley pubs have shut. They include: The Victoria Hotel, in Cavendish Street, Eastwood Tavern, in Bradford Road, Gardeners Arms, in Hanover Street, The Stockbridge Arms, in Bradford Road, The Market Arms, in Market Street, The Gatehouse, in High Street, The Brewery Arms, in Worth Way and The Vine Tavern, in Hope Place.

Roughly 30 pubs and bars continue to trade in Keighley and Oakworth.

Fred Baker, branch secretary of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Keighley & Craven, said: “CAMRA is very upset about the number of pub closures, not just in Keighley but all over the country.

“Keighley does seem to be suffering quite badly, with pubs closing and never opening again.

“And while we have seen micro pubs starting up elsewhere it’s not something we’ve seen in Keighley yet. That is something we’d welcome.”

Mr Baker said more traditional pub businesses struggle to compete with the cheap price of beer and lager in supermarkets.

“It’s a problem CAMRA has been aware of for years,” he warned. “We’ve been campaigning for the duty on beer to be reduced. We know it was frozen in the last Budget, but frozen isn’t the same as the duty being cut. It is still too high.

“Also, many younger people aren’t going out anymore, and if they are drinking they are buying beer in supermarkets then drinking at home.”

Paul Howard, Keighley Business Improvement District (BID) manager, said: “Losing a night time venue in a town centre can have a short term gain for the remaining venues, but it certainly puts the long term future at risk.

“Neighbouring towns and cities with a stronger evening economy will be much more of a draw if there’s a wide choice of venues and supporting establishments to attend.

“Clearly, people don’t go out and socialise in the same way as they did even 10 years ago so many pubs are picking up the slack with special events like beer and gin festivals or expanding their food offer.

“We discussed this very issue yesterday (Jan 9) with a prominent Keighley licensee.

“We hope to sit down with businesses from the night time economy in the very near future to discuss how we can work together to improve trading conditions for these important community assets.”