A fight has been launched to save a popular pub in Northumberland amid fears it is to be turned into a shop.
Staff and regulars at the Windmill in Blyth - said to be over 100 years old - have set up a petition, having been told it is to be converted into a convenience store.
They have amassed 200 signatures and have the support of high profile politicians, including the town’s MP.
The pub’s owners have confirmed it is being sold although the rumoured buyer has refused to comment.
The Windmill on Cowpen Road is owned by Punch Taverns and was recently subject to a change in management. Staff recently discovered it was up for sale.
They were told by neighbours last week that a man claiming to have bought the site and a surveyor had visited the premises and told them it is to be turned into a convenience store.
A petition against the plans was set up and 200 people have signed at the pub.
In addition, Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell and Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council and its member for Blyth Brewster, have given their backing.
Dawn Pringle, a 43 year old bar team leader who lives at Blyth, pulled her first pint at the pub at the age of 18 and has worked there since October.
She said: “We all thought it would be a person would buy it to run as a pub. It has been a bit of a shock to the system for everybody who has heard about it.
“Everybody is just absolutely devastated at the fact this is going to happen. The whole community is just absolutely devastated that it is going to be turned into a shop.
“My dad has drunk there since he was able to drink. The place is close to my heart as well.”
Mrs Pringle said regulars were concerned they would have nowhere else to go should the pub shut.
Last night, a Punch Taverns spokesperson said: “An unconditional offer has been accepted and we are currently in the legal process with a potential purchaser.”
She would not disclose the identity of the buyer.
Mark Worley, of business sales company Christie and Co which is handling the purchase, confirmed the sale had been agreed but declined to discuss the future of the site.