THE community of Woodgreen is in a race against time to buy their village pub.

The Horse and Groom, which is owned by brewery Hall and Woodhouse, has been put up for sale.

Villagers need to raise between £600,000 and £700,000 by the end of the month. This would cover the purchase, stamp duty, legal fees, VAT and necessary refurbishments.

Julie Rich, who has spearheaded efforts to get the community behind the campaign, said: “This is an amazing opportunity to benefit the community and keep the pub, as a pub, for as long as the locals want it.”

She added: “The big reason we’re doing this is the village values the pub. It was set up as an asset of community value last year and when it came up for sale we took the opportunity that arose from that to see if we could buy it to ensure its long term future.”

A steering group researched the viability of the project and looked at whether there was support.

A community benefit society has been set up and supporters can buy shares and loan stock.

If the community were successful in their bid to buy the pub the steering group would employ a manager and staff to run the pub.

They also hope to be able to support local businesses in the area.

Julie said: “The money that goes into the pub would go back into the local community.”

In just over a week of the fundraising drive starting nearly £150,000 has been raised with more money pledged. But Julia says: “We’re up against a time limit here.”

The pub was designated as an asset of community value, and a six month period was imposed to allow the community to prepare and submit a bid for the property. But this period comes to an end next month.

The funding needs to be in place before December 12.

Julie says the support from the community in Woodgreen and surrounding villages has been “amazing”, adding: “We really want to thank everyone that has given so far.

“If you are able to, please support us.”

Mark James, the director of Hall and Woodhouse, said: “The Horse & Groom pub went on sale in June 2018. We are pleased with the level of interest we have received from parties seeking to purchase the village pub, and hope to complete a sale to the next custodian in the coming months.

“We would like to thank the local community for their ongoing support and custom over the years, and hope they will continue to enjoy the pub’s facilities once the new operator of the Horse & Groom is in place.”

To support the bid or for more information go to