FARNWORTH and Kearsley’s Royal British Legion is set to reopen eight months after the branch was closed by charity bosses.

The division was told it could no longer operate because there were not enough members to form a committee, but the group has expanded and was able to successfully reapply earlier in June.

It will be run from Farnworth Town Hall - where the branch was previously located until it shut down in March of last year - and will offer the same services as it did.

The decision to reopen follows increased interest from the community, especially elderly people.

Alan Wright will return as chairman, having previously resigned the role following a battle with Leukaemia, and will work alongside Joyce Watt, who was secretary of the branch for 10 years.

Mr Wright said: “There’s more and more people now who seem to be getting interested in the Royal British Legion and we are happy to be opening again.

“I’m absolutely pleased about it, I had a bad few years with the Leukaemia, but this will be a good thing.”

Former Farnworth councillor Noel Spencer is to serve as president of the branch and thanked other members of the committee for helping to reopen the division.

He said: “I am really pleased. So much effort has gone in to this, particularly from Alana Wright, Joyce Watt and her husband.

“It’s been a really difficult period and having the disaster that we had last year was a shame, but we have always has a wonderful remembrance parade in Farnworth and being back on track is a real relief.”

Mrs Watt was heavily critical of the decision to close the branch last year and said the reopening would bring Royal British Legion services closer to home for a lot of people who use them.

She added: “They shut it down because we couldn’t form a committee but now we have been able to do that, so we can start up again.

“I think a lot of people didn’t know how close it was to closing but when they realised so many people said they didn’t want it to happen.

“People are really pleased about the reopening news, especially the elderly people who couldn’t go to the other branches.”

She went on to say that the group now has more than 15 members and will be looking to set up its offices over the next week and open in around a fortnight.

When the branch was closed last year, members were given the opportunity to transfer to other branches.

Members wishing to join or transfer back to Farnworth and Kearsley from another area should call Mrs Watt on 01204 579910 or 07804235810.