The famous Chequer Inn at Ash has been saved by the community after it was at risk of being turned into housing.
It could have easily gone the way of so many other village pubs which have closed forever, but for a huge effort by supporters to raise £400,000 through share sales to retain the building in The Street as a pub.
Matthew Titterton, who launched the campaign to save it in December 2015, said: “We are all very excited and can’t believe that this day has finally arrived.
“It’s fantastic to know that this wonderful historic pub which has been the heart of the community for hundreds of years will now reopen, and this time there will be no national pub company owning it, but instead a community passionate for it to succeed.
“We have over 300 shareholders who are determined to make a success of it, and with the right tenant, we really hope that it will be a community pub to be proud of.”
The committee which worked on saving the pub has now instructed lawyers to proceed with buying it.
Its next stage will be to prepare the Chequer Inn for reopening in the autumn.
Jane Greaves, Secretary of The Chequer Inn Ash Society, said: “It’s all very exciting. The committee has a number of working parties to get the pub up and running. Refurbishment will be carried out and we will start looking for a suitable tenant.
“We are hoping to have an open day for shareholders in a few weeks, but as it is currently a building site, we have a health and safety team on board so that we can do things properly.
“We have a very ambitious project plan and we hope to be open by the autumn.”