Mediation to save the Maryport Navy Club will be held before Christmas.

The club committee will meet the Maryport branch of the Royal Naval Association to try and resolve the stand-off which has been threatening the club for almost two years.

The association wants to sell the club and donate proceeds to charity.

The navy club committee wants to keep it open and develop it as a community asset.

Mike Messenger, the man leading the campaign to save the club, was adamant that rumours of closure were completely false.

He said whether by mediation or further court action, it will remain open.

"In fact, the only threat is from the people of Maryport. If they don't use the club it will close."

He said the rumour could have been the result of a decision to reduce club hours during winter, "but even that decision was reversed. We are open as usual and have live music every weekend."

Mr Messenger said while this was a members' club, membership was only £2 and £1 for pensioners.

"It is so easy to join. If people don't want to, they can still be signed in by any member. Our bar staff can sign five people in on a shift so there is no reason not to come."

He said the committee is determined that the club will remain open.

"If we can get ownership we have real plans for it. We will make it a valuable asset."