RESIDENTS in Ridsdale threatened with the closure of their only remaining public facility have launched a campaign to keep it open.

The Gun Inn pub in Ridsdale has been put up for sale by its current owners and residents fear it could close and be turned into a private house.

Following a notice from the county council informing Corsenside Parish Council about the potential closure, residents have now rallied together to support the only community space left in the village.

The pub was listed by Northumberland County Council as an asset of community value under the Localism Act of 2012. This means that local residents have the right to launch a bid to purchase the pub within the next six months.

A meeting organised by residents John Bassett and Alison Thomson, which around 40 people attended, was held in a local barn due to the village’s lack of community spaces, where it was agreed to launch a campaign to keep the pub open.

John, who has lived in the village for more than 30 years, said: “We believe that it’s got so much potential as a venue and want it to remain as a pub and a vital community asset.

“I have seen the post office, garage and village hall all close over the years. The pub is the only place left that holds people together.”

Alison added: “The Gun Inn closing would be a massive loss. Without the pub we have nothing.”

Residents have cited the success of similar community campaigns to keep shops open in Slaley and Humshaugh as inspiration.

The current owners of the Gun Inn, Liz Askew and Michael Rutherford, have owned the pub for 13 and a half years, but now have plans to retire.

Liz said: “The pub has been up for sale for three years but we’ve never wanted to close it. We’re fully behind the community bid to keep it open.”