CAMPAIGNERS trying to save their local pub have submitted an application to the council to give it protected status.

Save The Dyke Pub submitted an Asset of Community Value (ACV) nomination to Brighton and Hove City Council, which if accepted, gives the community six months to place the first bid on any future sale of the building.

The Dyke Pub and Kitchen in Dyke Road, Hove, closed without notice and reopened the next day as a furniture store in last month, shocking residents and staff. Owner Martin Webb said the pub was struggling to run a profit in its last 18 months and blamed the closure on lack of trade.

The council will list the pub as an ACV, if they believe the pub was used to further the social wellbeing of the local community and will continue to do so in the future.

Save The Dyke Pub, which also presented a petition with 1,300 signatures and several testimonials in support of the nomination, said they were confident the council would grant the building ACV status. Ian Fardell said: “We have a lot of public support and we have people that want to buy it.

“We want it to be kept as a pub. The building has been a pub for its entire history and we would like to keep it that way."

Mr Fardell also praised the community for making the ACV happen. He added: “It’s brought us all closer together and I don’t think the owner expected anywhere near the support we gathered."

Reacting to the ACV nomination Mr Webb, Emporium of Treasure and Trash owner, said: “We have absolutely no plans to sell it and if the community wanted to buy it, it would be fine.

“The pub is shut because it did not make any money. I’ve run 40 odd pubs in Brighton and I’ve never shut a pub before. So we’ve turned it into a nice store and yet a whole lot of people are complaining - who we have never ever seen in the pub.

A decision from the council is expected to be made in eight weeks.