PEOPLE power is working to save two rural pubs under threat of permanent closure.

The Friends of the Three Horseshoes in Burbage want to protect another watering hole from being turned into a house, while the clock is ticking for The Barge Inn Alliance Ltd, who have until July 19 to raise £500,000 to get the keys and open a community pub in Honeystreet. following its closure in February

Interest in saving the Barge Inn has gone global, with supporters from as far as America determined to transform the building into a community base for groups and youth clubs.

People can now buy shares of between £250 and £100,000 and get a vote in the future of the pub.

A recent £10k investment boosted campaigners’ Nel and Andy Lingard’s hope for their vision. Mr Lingard lives on a boat in Pewsey and said: “The project has been very emotive. People across the country have been bemoaning the loss of The Barge.”

Project manager Mrs Lingard said: “It was a diverse place with people from the village as well as transient people and was a place for everyone to mix and be one community. Without the pub we lose that and it becomes very fragmented. If we don’t do something, no one else will save it.”

The Three Horseshoes in Burbage closed in January and is now under threat of shutting its doors for good as its owners argue the former Wadworth pub is financially unviable.

Red Star WSL Ltd bought the pub from the brewers and has submitted plans to turn it into a house. The company achieved similar permission for the former French Horn on Marlborough Road in Pewsey in 2016.

Residents and Burbage Parish Council have refuted claims the pub is financially unviable.

Protestor Gary Rawlinson, of The Withies, said: “There is a main tourist road 400 yards away, but they say there is no passing trade.

“There is another pub in the village but does not serve food.

“A village the size of Burbage, with 2,000 residents, should be able to support two pubs.”

Objecting to the planning proposal, Burbage Parish Council said: “With proper management and modest capital injection this important local facility could return to the thriving business it once was. For the next five years, at least, we have no need for further housing development.”

Almost 50 people have sent in comments on the scheme.

Michael Faunce-Brown added: “Undoubtedly the developer wishes to make money. One person’s profit balanced against the good of the community.”

As part of the bid to turn the pub into housing, Red Star WSL Ltd stated: “Its location does not benefit from any passing trade. There is intense competition from better located local pubs.” Resident have until the end of today to express their opinions on the bid.

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