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Bath pub buy-out hits target

Regulars at the Bell in Bath want to ensure live music continues at the pub Credit: ITV News West Country

A community buyout scheme to ensure the future of a popular pub in Bath has passed its target. The Bell Inn in Walcot Street was put on the market by its owner Ian Wood after 23 years. Regulars and staff wanted to make sure it didn't end up in the hands of a chain.

Former Bath College student Gabrielle Aplin is among a host of stars backing the Bell buyout Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

The campaign won the backing of stars including Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Gabrielle Aplin and the Wurzels.

It needed to raise £500,000 by selling shares and by the deadline last night had made more than £720,000. The rest of the money needed to buy the pub will come from a bank loan.

Iconic Bell Inn to raise £500,000 through shares

Each week, more than a dozen pubs shut their doors for good in towns and villages across the country. That equals hundreds every year and many of those that don't shut up shop end up in the hands of the big brewery chains.

But as Dave Mason reports, one community in Bath is hoping to retain the character of its local pub by persuading regulars to buy it between them.

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Yeovil pub destroyed in blaze

The Bell Inn, Yeovil Credit: Vikki Farrar

Dozens of firefighters have been tackling a huge blaze at the Bell Inn in Yeovil.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service say they received numerous calls from the public reporting seeing flames just after 4am on Saturday morning.

The fire engulfed the ground floor, first floor and roof.

At least 16 fire engines were called out to the pub, which is part of the Hungry Horse chain, on Preston Road.

Fire crews battled to stop the fire spreading to nearby buildings. The blaze took four hours to put out and firefighters say the building has been left 'severely damaged.'

No-one was injured in the fire. Officers are now investigating what caused it.

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