Bill Wiggin MP is backing a local bid to secure the future of Dilwyn’s Crown Inn.

Parish Councillors are currently exploring the possibility of buying and re-opening the village pub, eventually recruiting a tenant to run the business on day-to-day basis whilst developing the project as a sustainable community venture.

Bill, who also supported the campaign to save Dilywn primary school, commented: 

When the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Local Government, visited the county last week I made sure he was fully aware of the Crown’s situation.

I also asked his civil servants to consider the issues involved and look into what might be done. They responded later on Friday suggesting that Dilwyn Parish Council contact the Plunkett Foundation – a national organisation which leads the way on community ownership and can help find a specialist advisor in our area.

Eric personally donated £5 towards the bid and wished residents the best of luck. Nobody can guarantee what the National Loans Board will do, but it is worth trying to raise funds before the building is sold at auction.

Pubs make a vital contribution, both socially and financially, to local life here in Herefordshire. We are now faced with a rare opportunity to give something back.

Unlike private enterprises, co-operatives can not only distribute profits to shareholders and reinvest in their business, but members may also choose to plough any extra revenue straight back into the wider community.

I think this exciting initiative deserves all our help and, if given the money, has the potential to be a real success story.

Over 130 out of 170 people voted in favour of the plan – sending out an unmistakable message. They can of course count on my wholehearted support.’

The auction takes place in Shrewsbury March 14. Residents will therefore need to raise something in the region of £250,000 over the coming days and weeks.