INVESTIGATIONS will start next week into how to rebuild a historic pub gutted by a fire.

In January the Grade II listed Dymock Arms in Penley was torched by arsonists but police have yet to find the culprits.

The building, which is under the licence of Stephen James Murphy, was devastated by the fire on the ground floor, first floor and in the roof.

Now council officers are to assess the damage to see what reconstruction is needed to restore it. Not long after the fire a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson but was released on bail by North Wales Police and never charged.

A police spokeswoman said: “Nobody has been arrested recently and it is still being investigated and treated as arson.

“Enquiries are still ongoing.”

The Leader was unable to get in contact with Mr Murphy, who is believed to live in Stoke-on-Trent.

A council spokesman said: “The authority is still waiting for a copy of the fire report.

“The council's conservation officer will undertake a site inspection next week to assess the extent of damage and reconstruction required.” Rachel Coathupe-Fox, community councillor for Maelor South, said: “The building now is no different to how it was after the fire happened.

“It’s not very nice, it is a bit of an eyesore.

“But I think because the police were investigating it people understood it was going to be a while.”

The building was 60 per cent damaged by fire and the remaining damage was caused by water and smoke.

The blaze was started at about 2.30am on January 20 and took firefighters more than two hours to put out.