A VILLAGE community has managed to secure £275,000 to buy their local.

Residents of Pebmarsh started fundraising to buy the Kings Head, in The Street, just after the landlords announced they would be retiring last September.

The Friends of the Kings Head, a team of avid campaigners, have sold shares in the pub, raising £275,000, and also managed to secure money through loans and grants for extra funding.

Contracts were exchanged with the current owners of the pub on April 28, and the group expect the sale to be completed at the end of June.

John Flack, chairman of the fundraising team, said: “The village has managed to raise the money in what I believe is record time for similar projects.

“It has been astonishing the amount of support we have had from the local community.

“We never thought it would be possible to own our own pub.”

Around 260 shareholders have invested in the pub, with each share costing just £50.

Each shareholder will receive one vote on future pub business, no matter how many shares they own.

Pete Hele, another member of the fundraising group, said: “We have got a really good close community here.

“Almost as soon as the pub closed in September the local community were thinking about how they could help.

“It really shows how powerful the community can be.”

The plan is to slowly introduce more community features at the more than 400-year-old pub, including a larder shop, parcel collection service and facilities for local clubs to use the venue.

Mr Flack said: “It is a true community venture and everybody feels they are part of the same picture.

“There is no big business driving this and any profits will be reinvested in the pub or the community.

“The more successful this is the more we can develop the facilities to make it better for everyone.”

Joe Burlo, who has owned the pub with wife Lynn since October 2013, said that the community purchasing the pub was the “perfect solution” for both parties.

He said: “We bought it after it had been shut for four years.

“Nobody was interested in buying it and it looked like it might stay shut or end up with a developer purchasing it.

“After three years we have done what we set out to do.

“We wanted it to be a village pub, not a pub in a village, and I think we achieved that.”

Visit fotkh.pebmarsh.com.