A village community has rallied around to buy a vacant pub which has served locals since 1881.
Residents of Church Fenton, near Tadcaster, have already saved their village shop and post office from closure and they have now revealed that a deal has been struck with Enterprise Inns to purchase the White Horse pub.
When it shut in 2016 following the closure of the RAF’s Church Fenton base three years earlier, the White Horse in Main Street was the second of the village’s three pubs to go.
However it is now set to reopen, with ambitions plans in mind to make it a venue at the heart of the community. In order to do so, villagers have secured more than £500,000 in funding, largely through a successful bid for a Publics Works Loan.
Lesley White, one of the founding members of the Church Fenton Community Hub, said: “This has been a fantastic community effort. No one part of the community could have done it without the other. The community has really got behind us to say they want this.”
The sale of the pub is expected to be formally completed by the end of the month, Mrs White said, and in the future she hopes that it will benefit all sections of the local community.
“We are looking to make this more than just a pub. We are looking at making this a centre for lots of other activities, a centre for the community.”
She said the pub will offer food and ideas include the opening of a community meeting room, a mini-library or book exchange, hosting digital training for seniors and providing free parking for parents to use for dropping off their children at the nearby school and nursery.
“There is a massive amount of potential,” Mrs White said.