A much-loved Merseyside pub has closed after weeks of speculation - but is expected to soon re-open under a new tenant.
Located off Knowsley Lane, the Derby Arms has stood proudly in Knowsley Village for decades and is a vital part of the community.
But the ECHO understands that the previous tenants closed and vacated the pub last Thursday, January 16, leaving the property up for lease and many unanswered questions for customers.
This comes after much speculation of the pubs future, with residents concern regarding the lack of stock, fearing the pubs closure over the Christmas period and discussing what they can do to ensure it remains open.
Today, a spokesperson for Greene King said, "We are pleased to announce that the Derby Arms is scheduled to be re-let this week to a new partner with a view to re-opening this weekend providing, once again, a warm and welcoming pub for the Knowsley community."
The only remaining pub in the village, The Derby Arms serves an array of food and beverages and is a popular spot for families and friends to gather.
Paul Lawrence, who has spent most of his life in Knowsley Village, said: "The Derby Arms in Knowsley Village has been the centre of community life for as long as I can remember.
"In the past we had a number of places to meet and have a drink, The Pipe and Gannex, The St John Fisher RC Club, The Old Knowsley Recreational Club - which later became Terry Phillips's Club and Gym - and of course The Derby Arms.
"All have gone, that means that there is nowhere for the residents to meet socially, in The Village.
"The Derby Arms is a focal point, which needs to be preserved.
"However, for this to happen, it will need the total support of the community as a whole."
The Greene King Pubs website states: "The pub is in very good condition thanks to the recent investment and has enjoyed excellent trade since refurbishment.
"The Pub is split into lounge and bar area and served by a very large car park, with over one hundred spaces.
"The pub also benefits from a well-appointed beer garden to the rear that overlooks the surrounding countryside, as you can imagine, this is very popular over the warmer months.
"There is plenty of passing trade here, so getting the external marketing right will be key to future success.
"The right operator will have a commitment to continue the already good food offering, whilst also looking to improve the choices on offer, perhaps by improving the specials on offer?"
The previous tenant of The Derby Arms did not wish to provide a comment.