Villagers are celebrating after essential repair work on a community owned pub was successfully completed.

A new roof has been installed at The Kings Head in Pebmarsh which will help to preserve the long-term future of the grade II listed public house.

The £35,000 replacement was seen as an essential cost to help protect to the newly-refurbished ground floor and bring the upper floor into use.

Inspectors had deemed the old roof to be in a state of disrepair and estimated it had just two years left before it became unstable.

Pebmarsh Community Pub Limited, which is made up of more than 400 stakeholders and runs the pub, put aside £15,000 to help fund the new roof.

The remaining costs were covered by a grant from the Enovert Community Trust, which helps to support community and environmental projects.

Peter Hele, Chair of the Pebmarsh Community Pub said: “We are very grateful to Enovert Community Trust. Without its generous support the roof refurbishment would have been impossible and the day to day trading of the pub could have been put at risk from leaks or flooding.

“The King’s Head is the heartbeat of Pebmarsh and the surrounding villages, and the village is committed to supporting the pub and making this community venture a great success.

"All of the surrounding communities will benefit from the growth and security of the pub as a community asset.”

Enovert Community Trust secretary, Angela Haymonds, added: "The King’s Head pub forms a vital focal point for a range of community activities and the Trustees were delighted to provide funding towards the replacement of the roof.”

Further plans to improve the 500-year-old pub are in place, with bosses wanting to install a new kitchen and create a more accessible entrance for wheelchair users.

The Kings Head has become a focal point for the people of Pebmarsh ever since it reopened under community ownership in November last year.

It is used by clubs, for quiz nights and has also been known to host drop-in surgeries by Braintree and Halstead MP, James Cleverly.