A campaign to save a village pub has had a huge funding boost.

The Silks on the Downs, in Ogbourne St Andrew, has not opened its doors since the pandemic struck last March.

However, locals were offered the chance to buy the pub, known locally as the Silks, renovate it and run it for the benefit of the community.

By offering community shares, the #SaveTheSilks campaign aims to save the pub and help it to to become a community hub, providing a warm and welcoming space to meet as well as a valuable lifeline to the community.

Today, it was announced that the campaign has received a significant boost via a conditional offer from the Plunket Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme supported by Power To Change.

A funding package totalling £60,000, consisting of a £30,000 grant, match funded by a £30,000 loan has been awarded to the Ogbourne Community Pub Society.

The goal of the share offer is to raise more than £240,000, with the funding package being additional to help reach the final figure to enable the purchase of the pub. Since its launch on February 10, the #SaveTheSilks community share offer has raised over £120,000, however, the same amount is still required to fulfil its ambition.

The share offer is live and welcomes anyone to buy shares starting from £200, and runs until the May 31.

The Silks has provided a place for families and friends to come together and enjoy great food, drink and company for more than 100 years - with villagers determined not to lose it.

Harriet Rochester, from the Ogbourne Community Pub Society, said: “We are very grateful to the Plunkett Foundation’s More Than A Pub Programme generous conditional funding offer to help us as a community move closer to our goal of purchasing the pub.

"Although this is a welcome boost it is really important to express at this stage for this to really happen we need all the support possible to raise more money from the share offer.

"Therefore, I would urge anyone who is able to please buy shares and help preserve this historical pub as an important asset to the community”.

Plunkett Foundation’s executive director, James Alcock, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to support the Ogbourne Community Pub Society who are working hard to make sure their community can benefit from everything that having a thriving local pub brings.

"Pubs that are owned and run by the community are so much more than a place to buy a drink; they provide important social spaces and services for local people and are central to their community’s sense of place and identity.”

For more information, members of the public are encouraged to read the Community Share Offer, which provides much more detail and is available at our website www.savethesilks.org.