VILLAGERS alarmed at the prospect of losing their local pub have managed to raise £325,000 in just a few weeks with the aim of taking it over.

Just weeks ago, residents of Winterbourne Bassett discovered their beloved White Horse pub, owned by Wadworth Brewery, was to close.

But determined not to lose the village’s only watering hole, they decided to form a group – Save Our Pub – in an effort to keep the beer flowing.

Margo Bullock, 61, who has lived in the village for the past 23 years, said: “The brewery very rarely sells their pubs, so we have no idea why they are doing it.

“But we have raised the money for the asking price, so technically we can buy it outright.”

The villagers are worried about developers moving in because, as Margo says, “we simply can’t compete with them”.

She said: “We are a very small village and we need a focal point. It would be such a shame to lose the village pub when there is so much support for it. It would be a great loss to the village because there is no other way for everyone to get together.”

Margo confirmed that the ideal situation would be for the village to take it over and put somebody in charge.

Pat Salter has lived in the village with her husband David for nine years and was heavily involved in the rallying the community to save the local hotspot.

Fliers were distributed to all 60 houses in the village, then a meeting was held between like-minded residents to decide how to raise the money.

Pat said: "It would have been a huge loss but we have raised enough to purchase it.

"The pub is the hub of the village and it caters for numerous tourists, we wanted to keep it as a community asset.

"The community is involved in all the decision-making and we've had a lot of suggestions from them.

"We always believed that we would succeed and progress is being made."

"It's something to be proud of."

The group is still looking for more funds to pay for refurbishments to the White Horse.