A HISTORIC pub in the heart of a picturesque Saddleworth village has been closed by its managers.

Landlord Mark Paterson and pub operator Mike Leighton announced their decision to pull out of The Swan Inn in Dobcross Square on social media.

The news was greeted with shock by the community.

In a statement Mr Paterson and Mr Leighton said: “It is with great regret that we have to inform you The Swan will not be reopening in the short term.

“As you can imagine Covid-19 has had a profound impact on pubs and restaurants leading to reduced capacities and increased costs.

“Over the past few weeks we have been trying to work with Marstons (the pub owners) to agree a reduction in our costs with them.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure a commercially viable deal so we have agreed that we will no longer operate the pub.

“Hopefully, the Swan won't be closed for too long as it's an incredibly important pub for the village of Dobcross and Saddleworth in general.”

The statement added: “We'd like to thank our brilliant customers we've had over the last two years and we wish them all the best for the future and please support your local pub.”

Speaking later, Mr Leighton said: “It is sad. The pub is a key community asset. And I truly wish the best for whoever takes it over.”

The pub which opened in 1765, was previously run by a duo, passionate theatre lovers, who transformed The Swan’s upstairs function room, formerly an 18th century magistrates court, into a comfortable playhouse seating around 60.

And as a result, theatre companies flocked to Saddleworth – and every show becoming a success.

A spokesman for Marstons said: “The Swan will be reopening as soon as possible and we completely understand the important role the pub plays in the Dobcross community. We are sorry it isn’t open at the moment, but rest assured it will be as quickly as we can.”