CAMPAIGNERS are looking for a new leaseholder to take over a much-loved community pub.

The Dyke Pub in Brighton was bought for £1 million last month and the new owner is said to welcome the idea of the property once again becoming a pub or restaurant.

Campaigners from the Save The Dyke Pub group fought for two years to reopen the venue’s doors after it closed overnight in September 2016.

Last month they said the £1 million sale figure was “two fingers to the local community” but they have been comforted by talks with the new owners.

Now they are considering the best option with the ground floor up for let.

A statement from the group said: “The community is ready and willing to offer its support (and spend money) on somewhere where we can meet, eat and drink again, locally.

“There are ready-made databases and social media groups to support the marketing, research data into what locals want from The Dyke and a genuine readiness from hundreds of locals to breathe life back into the pub.

“This is a momentous time and looking ahead, both the new owners and the community are willing to work together to get The Dyke up and running again as a place to socialise.”

Ian Fardell, who used to work behind the bar of the Dyke Road pub, is the secretary of the campaign group.

He is considering taking the reins himself.

He said: “I am looking at potentially taking it on myself – it depends on whether I can afford it.

“There’s a ready-made business plan for anybody prepared to work with the community.

“Whoever takes it on would be mad not to sit

down with the community to talk.

“We will quite happily help them so they can generate business straight away.

“We are happy working with the new owners and leaseholder as long as all three of us are working together.”

The site has been home to a pub for more than a century, but when it closed overnight, infuriated regulars refused to take the decision lying down and they have been campaigning to restore their local ever since.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, Brighton and Hove has lost 20 of its pubs since 2010, bringing the total number of pubs within the city to 250.