THE fight has started to save a village pub from closure.

More than 70 villagers from St Dogmaels packed into a public meeting at the Memorial Hall last night (Wednesday, March 13) to discuss buying the White Hart Inn and running it as a community asset.

The pub on Finch Street is currently up for sale for £270,000, but with no takers, the current landlord intends to close the doors for the final time on May 5 after more than 10 years behind the bar.

Cris Tomos, from PLANED, told the meeting that similar moves were proving popular across the country, with communities rallying around to save and run their local pubs.

He cited the campaign to save the iconic Tafarn Sinc at Rosebush, with the purchase price funded by the issue of £200 shares and also by peer-to-peer lending, where investors lend a minimum of £5,000 for a four per cent return.

“It’s all about co-operative values and one member one vote,” said Cris.

“There are groups and organisations out there to help, as well as grant money which is available. It can be done and it has been done but it all boils down to the people in St Dogmaels believing they can do it and that the pub can make money and be a viable business.”

Shan Williams, from 4CG in Cardigan, a co-operative organisation set up to advance community development in the area, added: “This pub is your pub, for you to own and run as a community in an historic part of St Dogmaels.

“Don’t let it slip through your fingers. It has to pay for itself but you can make it work.”

Cllr Mike James, who chaired the meeting, said: “I think the numbers who have turned up shows how serious the village is about saving the pub.

“It is now up to us and how we take things forward.”

A vote was taken and was 100 per cent behind moving ahead with a plan to turn the White Hart into a community-run asset.

A further meeting will now be held at the Memorial Hall on Friday, March 22 at 7pm to discuss setting up a committee and the logistics behind the project.