A COMMUNITY pub is set to be renovated and brought back into use partly thanks to a £50,000 grant from South Oxfordshire District Council.

The Crown pub in South Moreton is one of seven community projects receiving a share of £117,000 in the latest grants from the council.

Other projects include a new outdoor gym in Warborough, improvements to the village shop in Little Milton and a new roof for the village hall in Sonning Common.

Villagers in South Moreton, near Didcot, fought for three years to get the funds to buy their local after it closed in 2015.

Earmarked to be demolished for housing, it was given a last-minute reprieve in September 2017 when it was listed as an ‘asset of community value’ following a court battle.

From that point campaigners, using the name the South Moreton Community Benefit Society, scrambled to raise the funds to buy the pub and turn it into a community hub for their area.

In October they finally won their battle, getting their hands on the deeds for £390,000.

The pub will now be operated as a freehouse, meaning it is not tied to any one brewery and hopes to stock beers from a number of local suppliers.

Alongside the pub, the building will also operate as a café with other community facilities such as a shop.