CAMPAIGNERS and musicians joined forces to revive the spirit of the Barge Inn and raise funds for the bid to rescue the pub.

The owner of The Barge Inn in Honey Street, Pewsey, announced plans to dispose of the pub in January and placed it up for sale.

The Barge Cooperative, formed by members in the community who want to save the pub, launched a formal bid to buy it and now have until July 22 to put a business plan together.

The group hosted a fundraising night in Bouverie Hall including bands Tripolar, The Boot Hill All Stars and The Urban Lions.

Over the night £4,200 was raised which will pay for for a survey and valuation of the pub to be carried out.

Organiser Andy Lingard said: “The money raised will be spent on having a professional survey and valuation carried out, and on the costs associated with registering as a Community Shares Company with the aim of raising the money needed to buy the Barge and run it as a pub and community hub for the benefit of the local community and visitors.

“The Barge Co operative owe thanks to too many individuals to mention, as well as the local businesses who donated loads of prizes for the raffle.”

There are currently 60 community pubs in England and Wales, including the recently opened The Winterbourne in Winterbourne Bassett, and a further 180 groups interested in following in their footsteps.

Phil Brady of Urban Lions which played on the Saturday night said:“Hundreds of people who came and donated to the cause were left with memories of a night that will go down in history.” Supporter Carol Kerbs who went to the gig on March 31 said: “Many supporters of the Barge are concerned at the demise of the music venue that supported new talent and local talent. Britain is at the top for music creativity. Without small venues new talent will not have a platform.”