A MUCH-loved village pub is facing the threat of permanent closure and locals are asking the public for their support.

The Derby Arms, which has served the locals of Great Urswick for more than a century, but is set to be closed by Robinsons Brewery on Sunday, say villagers.

Robinsons, who also own The General Burgoyne, will host talks with council members and the pub landlord’s Steve and Sally Moon next week to discuss the future of the Victorian building.

Denise Chamberlain, a parish councillor in Great Urswick, said the closure of the pub would be catastrophic for the community.

Councillor Chamberlain, who lives 50 yards away from The Derby Arms, added that the pub was a hub for everyone.

She said: “The pub is being closed next Sunday and we do not know if it will open again.

“The landlord and landlady in charge have handed their notice in and nobody is lined up to replace them.

“Although they are lovely people and the community are very sad to see them go, things like this happen and another landlord needs to come in.”

She added: “It would be catastrophic for Urswick if the pub is closed permanently.

“The Derby Arms is the hub for the community and it is huge for everyone. The village have several darts teams that play there, and other forms of social activity takes place in the pub.”

A petition has been launched by the local community and has received over 200 signatures.

Councillor Chamberlain wants the building to be kept as a pub in the long term.

She said: “This is a community asset and the heartbeat of our village.

“Urswick is a close knit village and the people do everything together.

“The pub has been a vital asset for over a century and the permanent closure would be a disaster.”

A meeting is set to take place next week where the locals will express their concern on the situation.

Jo Ritchie, chairman of Urswick Events Committee,wants the public to get behind the petition.

She said: “We are asking people sign our petition to stop our pub being closed down. The Derby Arms means a lot to this community and we don’t want it to be shut for good.

“The pub has raised a lot of money for the local area down the years and we need all the support we can get to help The Derby Arms.”

Visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-the-permanent-closure-of-the-derby-arms

A spokesman for Robinsons Brewery was unable to comment as The Mail went to press.