A popular village newsagent is set to shut after the owner was unable to find a buyer.
Windle’s, on Manchester Road, Baxenden, put up closure signs at the end of last month and will close in mid-January after remaining stock is cleared.
Owner Keith Windle, who has run the business for 20 years, said the closure was a blow for the community.
The father-of-three, who lives in Accrington, said: “It’s such a shame for the community that it will be closing as there are a lot of old folks’ bungalows nearby and people who rely on it for their papers and picking up odds and ends.
“I’ve got to know everybody and had a good customer base. It’s just a shame nobody has taken it over. It’s tragic.”
Before taking over the newsagents in 1993, Mr Windle worked as a PE teacher and head of year for 20 years at Accrington Grammar School, later Moorhead, along with schools in Burnley and Bacup.
The 65-year-old said he now plans to convert the building into a home before selling it on.
He said: “I’ve had a great time here. It’s completely different to what I was doing before but just as enjoyable.
“I’m of retirement age and we’ve been trying to sell it for ages.
“I’ve had a lot of people come in since we put up the for sale sign but nobody can afford it.”
Residents and councillors have lamented the loss of the newsagent to the village.
David Pratt, of Plantation Street, Accrington, said it will have a big impact on elderly and infirm people in the area.
He said: “The nearest will be Rising Bridge and below the Victoria pub on Manchester Road, both over a mile from central Baxenden.
“Yet again it will be the no car, elderly and infirm who will suffer.
“If there was ever a need for young, middle-aged and mobile folk to rally round their disadvantaged neighbours surely it is now.”
Ward councillor and Hyndburn Mayoress Kath Pratt said it would be a ‘big loss to the community’.
She said: “It’s unfortunate and it’s a sign of the times. A lot of younger people are using computers and iPads to pick up the news.
“It’s hard work being a newsagent. A lot of shops now sell newspapers so I think he lost the cream of his business really.”