Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 18:05 UK

Television deal opens village pub


Villagers Chris Lees and Elaine Jones talk about how volunteering has worked so far

A village has taken over the running its historic pub with the help of a television company which is making a documentary about the fight to save it.

Villagers in Llanarmon-yn-Ial, near Mold, Denighshire, were unable to find the cash to buy the Raven Inn when it went on the market months ago.

Long-term closure loomed when it failed to reach reserve price at auction.

But it reopened on Saturday as the Raven Community Pub, staffed and run by volunteers.

The village, in the Clwydian hills, a designated area of outstanding beauty, is one of few remaining with a shop, post office, school and pub.

Villagers were said be saddened to see the pub close but, like many other communities, felt powerless to do anything about it.

Villagers at the Raven Inn
Villagers set to work cleaning the Raven Inn for Saturday's opening

When television company Twofour proposed helping the community to reopen the licensed premises, villages voted in favour of the plan, which includes a television documentary being aired in the autumn about the process.

The pub will now be run as a community venture, with a committee to oversee and coordinate activity, under a company called Raven Mad Ltd, with profits put back into community projects.

The bar and kitchen will be run by volunteers from the village, without pay to start with, although organisers hope it will be successful enough to employ a bar manager eventually.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the firm said: "The focus is very much upon the community as a whole pulling together to create a pub that is once again the hub of the village."

The community is having a grand reopening on Saturday.

The Twofour spokesman added: "With so many rural pubs closing around the country, Twofour are delighted to have the opportunity to help save some of them.

"The precedent of community run pubs has proved successful, and hopefully this show will encourage more to go down this route. We wish The Raven every success."

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