THE future of a much-loved pub has been secured after it sold for £278,000.

The Raven Inn, based in Glazebury, has been under threat for more than three years.

It was the subject of numerous planning bids, including possibly demolition of the building for housing.

In recent months, it has become a home for travellers.

But on Thursday, it was sold to a group of campaigners who now plan to refurbish the building, which has become run down since it closed, and turn it into a community pub.

READ MORE > Plans for affordable homes on site of historic pub to be discussed

With almost 1,000 people in the Facebook campaign group and dozens of offers of support, the future looks bright.

Peter Sturman has been at the heart of the campaign to save the pub since housing was first suggested.

He sad: "It has been a long hard fight but finally the community has saved the Raven.

"This is a huge victory for every single member of our community.

"All of those people who attended the public meetings;

"Every one of the hundreds of people who objected to the planning applications;

"The nearly 1,000 people in the support group;

"The very substantial number of people, across our community, who have maintained their support, determination and doggedness over the years;

"Our local, cross-party, politicians who have always been very vociferous and active in their support;

"Last but not least, our fantastic local media, who have always reported very fairly and consistently. Ensuring the plight of the Raven has always been at the forefront of our news.

Warrington Guardian: The Raven Inn in Glazebury

"The associated history, heritage and place within our community, past, present and future have been very well documented over the last three and a bit years.

"As time has gone on, I think the growing sense of injustice has spurred us all on.

"Injustice at the Raven apparently being run down, in its latter years.

"Injustice at all the fixtures and fittings being removed and sold. Sometimes literally ripped out.

"Injustice at the Raven being severely damaged inside. Injustice at the broken windows and lead and copper being stolen from the Raven.

"Injustice at someone going in, when it was insecure, and ripping out the wiring.

"Injustice that the community’s offers to purchase the Raven in 2019, 2020, 2021 and again this year, were refused. All offers since 2019 were well over the odds and in excess of the auction sale price.

"The Raven did not need to be placed in the hands of receivers, It did not need to be subjected to the disgraceful treatment over the last few years.
"It could have been purchased, cared for and loved by a community who were desperate to do just that.

"We have said, time and time again, it could have been a win win for all parties concerned.

"On the night the travellers finally departed, a colleague and I stood outside the front of a poor, neglected and tired looking Raven.
We knew that one day we would be standing on the same spot, beer in hand, outside a vibrant, buzzing, bright and happy Raven.

"Were we being romantic and unrealistic? Romantic, yes! Unrealistic, no!

"That colleague is one of the people who have stumped up the cash to purchase the Raven. You don’t arrive at that position in life by being a fool, far from it!

"We fully appreciate the challenge and sheer hard work ahead. The fact is, it’s not going to be easy.

"Our community has consistently shown incredible strength and determination.
Even before this successful bid, we had people coming forward offering their services, expertise and elbow grease.
"Look at what our community has already achieved.
"With people like that behind the effort you start from a position of strength.

"We also have incredible examples of very successful community pubs throughout the UK.
"Within those are an army of people who have already trodden the path upon which we are about to take our first steps.
"People who are only too happy to share their experiences and advice.
"That is priceless.

"The Raven Inn will, once again, host patrons from near and far.
"A homely, happy place, welcoming everyone (and their dog).”

Warrington Guardian: Cllr Wendy Maisey

Cllr Wendy Maisey OBE, Culcheth Glazebury & Croft added “This is a long-awaited day worthy of a celebration!

"It has been quite some journey with many highs and lows along the way since becoming involved with Save the Raven group in 2019.

"Throughout this time, I’ve never failed to be blown away by the determination and sense of community shown by Peter, the steering group and all the volunteers.

"Today marks a clear way forward and with the future of this amazing historic building in our village secured, we’re all now looking forward to the next chapter.“