PUNTERS have bought their local pub in order to save the beloved community hub for the village.

Winterbourne Bassett came together after the Wadworth brewery pub The White Horse closed its doors in October 2017 and have since raised £450,000.

Cash was pulled together from 51 private investors, a grant from the Plunkett Foundation and loans from Co-operative and Community Finance.

The sale was completed on March 8 and the pub, renamed The Winterbourne, is set to open as soon as possible. The pub will now be transformed inside and out with a new kitchen and roof installed before a grand reopening.

Getting to this stage hasn’t always been easy, and Howard Witt, vice chairman of the campaign, explained that buying the pub was more complex than any of the team had envisaged.

They called on the help of other community pub owners across the country, including one in Abingdon where they spent the morning picking up tips on how to navigate the legal and financial barriers.

He said: “We have learnt a lot on the way. It has really brought the community together and even more now because there is a scaffolder up on the roof and the Union Jack is flying!

“There is a great opportunity among community pubs to share their knowledge and they really do, their help has been invaluable.

“Community pubs are becoming a sector in their own right and evidence shows that they stay open.Even yesterday we had a cash donation from another resident and those who couldn’t afford to do so have come forward to support it and say they will.”

Pat Salter, chairman of the society, said “We have faced several challenges, but I am delighted to have the keys in my hand. Once open we will welcome back locals, tourists and other visitors to enjoy good quality food and real ales and village activities.”