An intrepid group of local volunteers, fighting to save their local pub, have secured more than £434,000 to ensure it can open again to the public.

The Cross Inn in Hayscastle Cross, is the only pub in the village of Hayscastle and the only one within a radius of three miles of the village.

For the last 160 years it has been run continuously by the Phillips family.

However, for the last two years the pub has been on the market.

With no buyers coming forward, the local community, which has already lost two garages, a shop, a Post Office, and the local school, was determined to not only buy the pub, but enhance its role at the centre of village life.

Western Telegraph: Clive Hampton,-property officer, Geraint Evans- chair person and Mark Austin-Liason officer,

Plans are afoot for a local shop within the pub, selling locally produced food, as well as a community transport hub, with the potential of providing electric charging points, and a rural bus information hub.

The pub will also hold a range of regular social activities to meet the needs of all groups within the bilingual community.

Village residents created the Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society and following a dedicated campaign raised £210,000 towards the £500,000 needed to save the pub and give it a new lease of life.

A grant of £244,250 from the UK Community Ownership Fund will now definitely save The Cross from closure and allow the pub to pass into the ownership of the community itself.

Members of the team said that they are ‘absolutely delighted’.

“This wonderful grant makes it possible for us to create the pub and community hub we dreamed of creating,” said Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society Ltd chairman, Geraint Evans.

“We are very grateful to receive this incredible funding boost. It’s also a massive thank you to all our friends, families, local residents, and numerous businesses, including the current owners, who continue to put in so much time, effort and goodwill to make this all happen.”

Geraint thanked the small team of local volunteers who pulled all the elements of the funding application together: “They told our story and set out our mission in their own words and that passion and commitment clearly shone through in the application,” he said.

He also thanked Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb.

“He’s been with us all the way, lending real tangible support,” he said.

“He even wrote to Rt Hon. Michael Gove, endorsing the bid and highlighted the shared values between Y Cross Cas-lai Benefit Society Ltd. and the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund.

“Putting vital assets back into community ownership is the kind of levelling up politics that really matters in these turbulent economic times,” said Geraint.

The Society will now buy the pub, give it a facelift, retain all the best bits and build it back as a profitable pub that uses its profits to restore lost services to the community.

The Society intends to create a welcoming and vibrant village pub that doubles as a community hub.

With the profits generated from the pub, it will restore some of the essential services that the community desperately needs.