A community group using lottery money to bring a disused Swindon pub back to life are facing further delays. 

Toothill Big Local was set up as a steering group for £1 million in lottery funding and they set their sights on restoring the derelict former Toot and Whistle pub in Toothill, known more recently as the Village Tavern. 

Work towards this aim started in August 2022, and while some progress has been made, delays have plagued the project, meaning that it still isn't complete just under two years later. 

The group announced that contractor delays had delayed the project in November 2023, and this month they have confirmed that contractor delays are once again causing the wait for the building to be reopened as a community hub to be extended. 

In a post on the Toothill Big Local Facebook page, a spokesperson said: "We are so disappointed that the building isn't open and we can't show local residents around.

"Contractor challenges continue with key items yet to be done. Unfortunately, it's not possible to go into detail at the time.

They added: "Please be assured that we continue to work towards a timely resolution."

Back in September, the group were similarly apologetic when contractor challenges first caused delays. 

"We're sorry that we haven't any good news to bring you at the minute - contractor delays continue and we're working hard to resolve them," they said. 

This came after pictures of major work to the interior of the building were shared in August 2023, showing that significant progress had been made. 

Once finally complete the building which is being called 'The Hub @ Toothill CIC' will provide a family pub with great food and fantastic space for a range of community activities."

When the £1m in National Lottery money was gifted to the Toothill community, locals were given a chance to say how it should be used, and the abandoned public house was one of their biggest priorities. 

Following this, Toothill Big Local acquired a 62-year lease on the abandoned site in 2019, but Covid-19 stalled any restoration progress.

In June 2021, invitations to tender for construction work were sent out. 

Plans showed that the currently ongoing construction work is forecast to cost around £741,204 which includes the installation of new heating, wifi, electrics, doors, and toilets and the installation of the family pub, kitchen, a defibrillator and children's areas. 

This is on top of £468,296 already spent to acquire the lease, register as a community interest company and other administrative costs.