THERE will be more than a few glasses raised in Ellesmere Port tonight as a popular pub is to stay open.

The future of the Grace Arms on Stanney Lane has been in doubt for more than a year as the property was listed for sale by brewery chain Greene King.

But Greene King have now confirmed that the Port pub is off the market.

A spokesperson for Grace Arms said: “The Ellesmere Port community have been passionate about their desire to keep Grace Arms as their local and we’ve listened.

"We are delighted to confirm we have withdrawn the pub from sale and Grace Arms will continue to trade as normal.

"To thank our loyal customers and supporters we would like to invite them to a celebration at the pub this Friday between 6-8pm, where we will be giving regulars a free drink on us.”

The pub's Facebook page said the chain had listened to the community.

The message says: "Great new for all our locals, the company have heard your voices and we are staying open."

Regulars have already expressed their delight and congratulated general manager Denise Conlan and her husband and kitchen manager Sean Conlan.

Betty Riverol said: Made up great news for the community and staff, been a very worrying time for them all."

Adele Croghan said: "I'm made up! Such a lovely pub!"

Ray Howard added: "Fantastic news."

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, met campaigners fighting to save the pub last year and is sympathetic to their cause.

Learning of the news today, Mr Madders said: “I am delighted by the news that the Grace Arms will stay open for the future.  This is a huge boost to the local community, who have worked so hard to support their pub.

“I was contacted by a large number of local people, who were concerned that this local landmark was going to make way for housing.  It was only through the local community coming together that we were able to see this decision reversed.”

The Grace has remained open for business during the last year of uncertainty.

The pub dates back to the 1930s and is named after the Grace family, who lived at the nearby Whitby Hall.

A Save the Grace Arms campaign was set up – the group has more than 500 “likes” on Facebook.