A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save a community pub premises.

The Cross Roads Inn closed about five months ago, and is being marketed for sale or lease.

Earlier this year, the building's owner – Prospect Estates Ltd – applied to Bradford Council to determine whether prior approval would be needed to demolish the premises.

Now support is growing for efforts to protect the landmark building, which is on the junction of Haworth Road and Halifax Road at Cross Roads, and bring it back into community use.

A public meeting is being held at Lees Primary School this Saturday (March 11), at 1pm, which anyone interested is being urged to attend.

Councillor Tito Arana, chair of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, says: "A steering group of local residents has come together, because they care about the pub and want to examine the best way of trying to protect the building and secure it for the community.

"Potential options include taking it on as a pub but also providing a community hub facility, with other provision being offered from the site.

"The parish council has registered the building as an asset of community value, which gives us until July to reach a deal with the owner. That provides some time to explore options.

"While the current parish council is registered as a bidder, the new Cross Roads Parish Council will take on the role from April 1.

"We have had a lot of support already shown, which is very pleasing.

"Prospect Estates has a history of working with communities in these situations, and we've invited a representative to the public meeting.

"The steering group wants to work closely with them to move forward to secure the future of the pub and find an agreement that benefits all parties. They have been very open and shown a willingness to work with the group."

The campaign is backed by Keighley MP Robbie Moore, who has met with parish councillors to receive an update.

He says: "Despite being the oldest community building in the village and an asset of community value, the Cross Roads Inn faces demolition or potential redevelopment if an agreement to buy the pub is not reached before July 23.

"I urge everyone interested in supporting the campaign to attend the public meeting so that we can show our strength in numbers."

And John Grogan, Keighley's Labour parliamentary candidate, says: "An average of 32 pubs closed each month last year in England and Wales and it would be desperately sad if the Cross Roads Inn was lost as well.

"Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council is to be commended for leading the fight to keep the pub open. During lockdown I helped a successful campaign to keep the Hermit at Burley Woodhead open, so I know how much work is involved. The last time the Cross Roads Inn was under threat of demolition was in 2006, and I very much hope the community campaign this time around will be every bit as successful as it was then.

"As the writer Hilaire Belloc famously wrote, 'when you have lost your inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England'."

Backing has also been voiced by Keighley & Craven Campaign for Real Ale, which will have members at the public meeting.

Branch chair, Colleen Holiday, says: "Although the pub recently has become rundown, it has been thriving in the past and we believe there's no reason why, in the right hands, it could not be a viable business.

"It could provide somewhere for people to meet and socialise, support the local economy through employment of staff and purchases from local businesses, and offer a meeting place for clubs, societies and charities."

A spokesperson for Prospect Estates Ltd said the company "welcomes all enquiries about the premises and will consider any offers that are put forward".