A Blackburn pub has been crowned Pub of the Year in a national competition celebrating heroes of the pub-world during the coronavirus crisis.

The Clifton Arms made it to the final seven of the Great British Pub Awards Pub Heroes 2020 back in August.

And in a glittering online ceremony on Thursday evening, the Grimshaw Park pub was awarded the top accolade along with a share of £165,000.

Carole Davies who runs the Clifton Arms said: "What an achievement. I am so proud of Team Clifton.

"Thank you to all the community who are always there to help with whatever is asked - looking out for each other.

"It's priceless. Respect to them all."

This Is Lancashire:

Organised by the Morning Advertiser, a hospitality industry publication, the competition aimed to shine a light on those tenants who went above and beyond during the pandemic by providing vital services to their communities at a time of isolation,

Following the announcement in March that pubs must close, the team at The Clifton set about making food available to those who needed it most.

Easter lunches were provided for free to vulnerable members of the community, along with lunchboxes for the postmen, and Easter egg donations to schools and key workers’ children, to keep their spirits up.

Lunch deliveries were also carried out in partnership with Blackburn charity Benefit Mankind and money was raised via a social media campaign, and was used to pay for fruit boxes that the team delivered to hospitals and care homes.

When asked what she would be spending her share of the prize money on, Ms Davies said: "That didn't even enter my thoughts.

"We are just all so amazed we won.

"I'm sure there will be a few things on the table to consider and I think we also get to donate £1,000 to charity of our choice."

The Great British Pub Awards changed its focus this year to recognise and celebrate publicans’ selfless acts of kindness in lockdown, and Coca-Cola provided a £165,000 fund for the winning pubs, to help them continue their community work and make vital business improvements or upgrades over the coming months.

Nearly 1,000 pubs entered across 15 categories, and the winners were chosen by 65,000 public voters, before a virtual awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Stephen Mulhern on Thursday.

Ed Bedington, editor the Morning Advertiser, said: “Early on in the pandemic we received calls from pub owners telling us of the community work going on in towns, villages and cities.

“This was all being done despite the pub owners fearing for their own livelihoods.

"But they knew, even though they faced adversity themselves, they had to continue to support people in their communities.

"That’s just what publicans do.

“So, we wanted to bring to life these moving stories and give pubs the recognition.”