Patrons of Werneth’s ‘last pub’ were left fearing for the future after its landlord announced his departure.

However, the director of the company which leases the pub has insisted the Royal Oak will stay open and that the company is in talks with potential replacement managers.

In a post on Facebook, pub landlord Darren McShane-Syddall said: “No doubt word has got around already. I’m now making it official.

“Yes, I will be leaving the Royal Oak at the end of the month.

“I hope you can understand that running a pub is a time-consuming business and leaves little time for private life.

“Saying that, I will miss the Oak but I don’t plan on being a stranger. Obviously, I will still be a member of the buffs on a Thursday evening.

“I know the main question that you want to know is who will be taking over. At this time I can’t answer as I simply don’t. Whoever it is I hope that you show them the same kindness that you have shown my family and myself.

“Lastly, I would like to thank you all for the support that you have given me in the three years that I have been here, so thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Facebook commenter Tony Haughton said: “Very sad to hear...The last pub standing in Werneth.”

However, Quentin Cartwright, director of ESC Inns Limited, which leases the pub, quelled rumours the pub would be closing.

Mr Cartwright told The Oldham Times: “I think people have assumed that because he’s leaving it’ll be shutting, when it isn’t because we will be appointing a new manager in his place.”

He went on to say he was in talks with ‘a couple’ of potential managers – with the changeover set for the end of August.

Mr Cartwright said: “Not only have we spent a considerable amount of money on refurbishing fixtures and fittings, the landlord company have also spent money on repairs – so there’s no way we would do that, if there’s no future for the pub.

“At the end of the day, this is the last pub standing on the A62 now, between Hollinwood and Oldham town centre – so there’s always going to be some trade there.”

Correction (Monday, August 8): This article originally included a quote that has since been retracted stating the pub landlord was given notice to leave. This is incorrect, the pub landlord gave notice.