Locals raise more than £270k to buy Forest of Dean pub

  • Watch Ken Goodwin's report

A community in the Forest of Dean have spent eight years raising money to buy back their local pub - and now they believe they are almost there.

Local people in the village of Woodcroft have managed to raise more than £270,000 by selling 'community shares' in the pub.

This leaves campaigners just £15,000 short of the asking price.

When The Rising Sun first closed, local people were determined the pub would reopen - and be owned by the people who use it.

Chair of The Rising Sun Community Pub Ltd group, Michelle Hayes, said: "The model works because you sell community shares. So everybody in the community can buy a share, and therefore they own part of the pub.

"The idea is, if you own a share of a pub, you use it - so, that's why the model is so successful."

Many local people have bought into the scheme, including Gerry Jerrum, who has lived in the area for 42 years.

He said he was saddened when The Rising Sun closed but believes the community shares initiative will see it reopen.

The group have managed to raise more than £260,000 by selling shares within the local community.

Gerry said: "When I first moved in the area, I was living in a caravan on the grounds of the house I ultimately bought. So, what do you do in the evening? My wife was still in her previous place, so it was the pub - it was the salvation!"

But new residents in the village such as Clem Brown have also joined in with the scheme, as well as those who gave fond memories of the pub.

"Its great to have the community investing in the pub, Clem said.

Although they have nearly raised enough money to match the asking price, organisers say the group will keep on fundraising.

Chairwoman Michelle added: "Our intent is to try and get to a slightly higher figure, to develop our plans further."