Community rallies to buy historic pub

Pub goers in the Wiltshire hamlet of Honeystreet near Devizes are one of a growing group trying to take over their pubs - to run them for the community.

The Barge Inn has been around for more than 200 years. It first opened in 1810 when the Kennet and Avon Canal was built and at a time that business on the waterways was thriving. But the canal age is long gone and the pub closed in January 2018 and its future is uncertain.

A group of locals have come together to take it over. But to buy it, they need to raise a million pounds in the space of six months. The Barge Inn Alliance have formed a company and are selling shares at a pound a go - although buyers have to buy a minimum holding.

They also want to expand what the pub does - to turn it into a community hub.

The famous ceiling mural at The Barge Inn which reflects its attraction to crop circle fans. Credit: ITV West Country

The canal is just one reason why people come to the Barge Inn. In the summer months, thousands of crop circle enthusiasts descend on the pub from all over the globe. It has a famous ceiling mural and for many years was regarded as the unofficial world headquarters for crop circle enthusiasts.

A milllion pounds is a lot of money but other pub goers in the West Country have managed to raise enough to save their local.

The Bell Inn in Bath was threatened with closure in 2013. 536 people came together to buy it. It's gone on to win awards and be a success.

And in Winterbourne Bassett near Marlborough the old White Horse pub is being renovated by a company of regulars who have masterminded a similar takeover.

Find out more about the buy-out campaign here