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Woodgreen villagers fail in community bid to buy Horse and Groom pub

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The Horse and Groom pub in Woodgreen
The Horse and Groom pub in Woodgreen

RESIDENTS in Woodgreen have lost their bid to take over the only pub in the village after it was sold to another buyer.

A fundraising campaign was launched in the summer by locals with the aim of collecting enough to buy the Horse & Groom. After a succession of failed tenancies, the villagers feared the pub may end up being sold off to a property developer.

Even though they raised over £450,000, they learnt last week their bid to owners Hall & Woodhouse had been unsuccessful.

Jane Cant, who was one of the organisers of the ‘Save Our Village Pub’ campaign, said: “It’s very sad that we didn’t win but we did as much as we could.

“We are so pleased with how everyone in the village came together to try to save the pub. We put up a good fight and we would like to thank everyone who supported us.”

It has not yet been revealed who the new owner is. The pub, which has been closed since September, had an asking price of £550,000.

Hall & Woodhouse did not respond to a request for a comment on the sale.

Mrs Cant said: “We wish the new landlord well and we are looking forward to them doing a good job in bringing the pub back to life.

“One good thing to come out of this is how so many villagers have come to know each other for the first time. Many people have made good friends during this process.”

Another spin-off of the community fight has been the introduction of a pop-up pub in the village’s church – which is right opposite the Horse and Groom.

Named the ‘Room at the Inn’ – after the nativity story – the festive drinking hole is at the 100-year-old St Boniface Church in Woodgreen and serves local beers, wines and soft drinks.

It was set up by local vicar Nicky Davies, who said: “This village really needs a pub!”

Mrs Cant, who visited the Room at the Inn last week, reported: “It’s absolutely lovely – we had quite a party there. Everyone was really enjoying themselves and it was nice to have somewhere again for us all to get together.”

The pop-up pub is open on Friday 21st December 6pm-11pm, Saturday 22nd December 11.30am-2.30pm and Tuesday 25th December midday-2pm.

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