THE race is on to raise the £270,000 needed to buy the White Hart Inn at St Dogmaels.

The pub will close on May 5 but a committee has now been set up in a bid to purchase the pub and run it as a community-led asset.

Information is being sent to every resident in the village in a bid to secure the funds needed through a share offer and peer-to-peer lending scheme. In the first couple of weeks, more than £22,000 has been raised.

White Hart Community Inn committee chairman Jo Pitt said: “The reaction we have had from the village has been fantastic, both groups and individuals. We have had support from the Footpath Association and Shakespeare group.

“We attended the local market on Tuesday and both residents and visitors alike were behind us. People from outside the area were telling us of similar instances where they lived.

“This pub is so important to the community and its potential loss is huge, both for locals, businesses and visitors.

“We have now got a hard-working, enthusiastic committee and the priority has to be to get the message out there and get people to sign on the dotted line and commit financial support.

“We have had pledges but we now need to convert that to real action.”

Committee vice-chairman Cllr Mike James said: “We know this is a big ask and that time is precious but we have to give this a go or the pub will be lost forever.

“You only have to go around B&B’s or holiday lets in the village and read the comments people write in the guest books to realise what it means to visitors to go to such a friendly and welcoming pub, let alone its importance to the locals.”

The fund-raising committee is in the process of establishing a constitution and looking at what other potential funding avenues are available.

Another public meeting to update people on the campaign’s progress will be held on Friday, April 12 (7pm) in the Memorial Hall. All are urged to attend.