A CROWDFUNDER will go live on Friday, September 29 as a Dartmoor community prepares to secure the future of its local pub.

The Drewe Arms in Drewsteignton closed its doors last year and was put up for sale by owners Stonegate. Now a group of villagers are staging a month-long crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder.co.uk to secure the £600,000 needed to purchase the pub and get it fit to re-open.

Almost £350,000 has already been pledged and the campaign to buy the pub for the community has the support of Central Devon MP Mel Stride.

Steering group member, Imogen Clements said: “The campaign is going well. There’s a lot of interest. It’s a special pub with so much to say about it.”

The pub dates back to 1756 and is near to the National Trust’s Castle Drogo built at the turn of the century by Julius Drewe, who so loved the pub that he named it The Drewe Arms in his name.

The group have big plans for the pub to serve as a community hub, hosting exercise classes, film screenings and music and arts events, open-mic nights, as well as wedding receptions and local celebrations and plan to launch the Crowdfunder on Friday with a party in Drewsteignton village Square.

“The beauty of this pub is that it is right on the village square and all the time it’s been open people have spilt out on to the square on sunny days or nights like New Year’s Eve. A lot of the old photos are of the square with the pub in the background.

“A lot of pledges have come in, but we now need people to invest. This is an amazing and historic pub and people who invest will own a part of it, so when it’s back open they can come along and feel proud that they saved it.”

Central Devon MP Mel Stride, said: “The Drewe Arms is a historic pub and it would be great to see it run by the community for the community. It is important that we retain our rural services and facilities – they are the heartbeat of their communities, vital to the local economy and without them there is a greater risk of residents,,.becoming even more isolated. I will support the campaign in any way.”

Local resident Jane Martin, who serves on the steering group, added: “We are delighted that Mel was keen to come and meet members of the steering group, to hear all about our fundraising drive and to offer his support. The Drewe is such a special pub and it is clear from the immediate response from the community that our plans are definitely achievable.”

To support the crowdfunding appeal and buy shares in the pub email the team at [email protected] or find out more on the website Drewearms.org or through the Facebook page: The Drewe Arms Community Pub.