A COMMUNITY group is hoping to raise £400,000 to buy a derelict village pub.

The Prince of Wales pub in Holcombe Rogus - described by locals as a ‘hub’ for the community - closed its doors in November 2021 and has sat empty since then.

Now a community group in the village is trying to attract new members to join them and help raise money to buy the building and reopen it as a community pub.

Member of the management committee of the Holcombe Rogus Community Hub & Pub Ltd, Tom Critchley, is heading up efforts to encourage members to buy a stake in the community pub.

He said £400,000 is needed to purchase the pub for the community, but that many locals believe that it’s an achievable sum and the support for it seem “unanimous”.

MR Critchley added: “The community pub would be a hub for Westleigh and Burlescombe, it will support the community in a variety of ways and allow us to be more flexible with community events bookings.”

There are around 150 community-run pubs in operation across the UK.

The committee is connecting with the Plunkett Foundation to provide an accurate assessment of money needed. Tom said: “The Plunkett Foundation have been instrumental in the establishment of many community pubs throughout the country of which only one has failed.”

The plans for the building include a café, shop and pub being run by members and volunteers, along with bigger licensed community events.

Lucy Ellis-Brookes, who lives in Westleigh, used to regularly visit the pub with her husband. She said: “It was our social thing in the week, we wouldn’t have moved close by if there hadn’t been a pub. A lot of people in the village are very conscious of spending their money locally, so we hope it reopens soon.”