The push to re-open the 16th century Loddiswell Inn has received a huge boost thanks to an appearance on BBC1’s Countryfile on Sunday.

The pub closed last March and since then a group has been formed with the aim of not just re-opening the pub as it was but making it a community resource.

It will be a central village hub, offering food and drink throughout the day and into the evening, providing a safe and warm place for anyone who is feeling isolated or cold, and will have space available for local community groups to meet.

With the threatened loss of the mobile library, there is the opportunity to create a village library. They hope to be able to offer fair rent accommodation as there are two flats within the pub. During the tourist season they anticipate providing holiday makers with the quintessential village pub experience, offering food and drink produced within a very small radius, championing local suppliers.

It was named as an Asset of Community Value buying it some time to raise the funds to buy the freehold of the pub. The pub not only reached but passed its initial target of £62,500 and is climbing but the more that can be raised, the closer to saving the pub they get.

Founder member of The Loddiswell Community Pub Group and former landlord of the pub Roger Pinder explained what happened: “Last month we appeared on Spotlight which led to a visit by a crew by Dashi and crew from Countryfile who stayed with us for a whole day a couple of weeks ago.”

The group have applied to the government’s Community Ownership Fund who they hope will give them £250,000 towards the total needed of £400,000.

Roger said: “I am overwhelmed and quite emotional at the number of people wanting to help us.

“Since the programme went out I have received 193 e-mails and money has been rolling in from around the country. People will also be able to buy £1 shares in the pub starting from a minimum of £50.

“The shareholders will become members of the Community Benefit Society.”

Local resident Janice Gordon appeared on the Countryfile report and said: “We have been fundraising with usual village things like 1980s discos, quizzes and curry nights.”

Speaking of the Community Ownership Fund application, she said: “We have got to prove to them that this has got to be everything

“It’s got to include all the village, all the time.”

They are also looking to refurbish the pub in an environmentally sustainable way using solar panels and other green energy and making sure it is well insulated.

The pub will also support local producers. Roger Pinder concluded: “We were originally hoping to open the pub in late November but thanks to the extra money that has come in it may well be sooner than that.”

An 80s disco is being held tomorrow (February 23) from 7pm at Loddiswell Village Hall.

For more information about the group visit: