A COMMUNITY campaign has been launched to try to save a Culm Valley village's historic public house from closure after it was put on the market for £380,000.

Owner Simon Stimson wants to retire after 23 years running the Ostler Inn, Uffculme, but has so far failed to find a buyer.

Now, an initiative by Sam and Geraint Evans has seen residents form a steering committee to ‘work tirelessly to explore the various options available’ to achieve community ownership of the grade two listed Ostler, which dates to 1742.

Other villagers involved include Jim Clancy, Karina Balado, and Andi and Becky Campbell.

They are planning shortly to hold a ‘local stakeholders’ meeting to engage in a dialogue about possible initiatives and explore potential ways in which people might be able to help.

A spokesman for the group said: “Much of the appeal of our village rests on its sense of community.

“It is the reason many people have moved here and remain here.

“The continued presence of our last remaining pub is a key part of that community spirit.

“We believe that by working together we can secure the future of the Ostler Inn for generations to come.

“The ‘Save The Ostler Inn’ campaign is not just about preserving a historic pub, it is about revitalising our community, fostering a sense of belonging, and creating a space that reflects the aspirations and values of Uffculme residents.

“The campaign aims to preserve the legacy of this historic inn while creating a space that serves the evolving needs of the community.

“The potential closure of our only village pub could affect every resident of Uffculme, irrespective of personal patronage.

Uffculme's Ostler Inn, which residents are trying to save for the community.
Uffculme's Ostler Inn, which residents are trying to save for the community. (Tindle News)

“The village pub stands as a vital cornerstone, enriching our community as a whole.

“Its presence fosters social cohesion, provides a valuable meeting point helps nurture a sense of community spirit, and can elevate overall well-being.

“Moreover, the economic contributions of the pub are substantial, elevating the desirability of our village in the eyes of potential homebuyers, benefiting local businesses, and generating employment opportunities.

“The repercussions of its loss would reverberate throughout Uffculme, affecting each and every one of us who call this place home.”

The steering committee has launched an online community survey asking what people think about the pub and what roles they would like it to play in the village.

Of those who have already completed the questionnaire, 99.3 per cent believed it was important to save the pub, and most felt serving food and having a community space were important.

The survey can be found here.

Paper Copies are also available from the pub itself, The Square Corner, Uffculme Library, and Uffculme Fridge.

The steering committee is carrying out an in-depth investigation into potential solutions to keep the Ostler’s doors open.

It is considering the power of community-driven efforts, including crowdfunding initiatives which tap the generosity of locals and patrons who share a love for the Ostler and local investors who might see its long-term value ‘beyond its financial metrics’.

The group is working with the Plunkett Foundation and the Campaign for Real Ale to use their expertise and resources.

The campaign also has its own website for more information which can be found here.