Excitement is mounting as a local pub that had been on the market for two years, prepares to open its doors to the general public next month.

The Cross Inn, 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.

The dedicated group of local volunteers, fighting to save the Cross, secured more than £434,000 to ensure it can open again to the public.

The sale of the pub is due to complete this week, on Friday, October 27. Essential work is then scheduled to take place between October 30 and November 16 before the pub is due to reopen as a community hub on November 18.

The first phase of the work will include health and safety, fire safety and electrical safety works.

During this time, the pub will be recruiting and training staff, stocking and testing.

While all this is all underway, the directors of the community benefit society (CBS) will also refresh some of the décor so the Cross is warm and welcoming for everyone Phase two of the work is due to take place next year. The pub’s restaurant is scheduled to close for a major refurbishment with a full bar and restaurant relaunch scheduled to take place in Spring 2024.

Once the outline plans for the second phase are ready, the CBS will hold an open meeting where people can come along and comment on their favourite ideas and offer any final suggestions.

The plan is to maintain a limited bar service during the restaurant overhaul.

The directors of the community benefit society have appointed Fishguard man Shawn Smith as pub manager.

Local man Shawn grew up in the industry as his parents ran the Harbour Inn in Solva for many years, He has won many awards and has experience running a community pub.

A sub group is also working on the menu which promises to offer ‘ a simple but well curated dishes showcasing the best of our fresh local produce’.

The Cross is still recruiting bar, waiting staff and housekeepers and details can be found on ycrossinn.cymru/job-vacancies.

“Thank you to all of our shareholders and volunteers who have given so freely of their precious time and invested their hard-earned savings to save our pub for future generations of our community to enjoy,” Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society Ltd chairman, Geraint Evans.

“There has been a huge buzz of activity over the past few weeks as we get ready to take ownership.

“When we step back and think of the scale of our achievement, it’s truly staggering.”