NEGOTIATIONS are underway as a community looks to take over its local pub.

It comes after a meeting was held to discuss the possibility of the Broadwindsor community taking over the White Lion.

Following the departure of the pub's previous tenants, owners Palmers Brewery approached Broadwindsor Parish Council to see if there was any interest in operating the White Lion as a community pub after no-one suitable came forward to take over the venue.

A steering group has been put together consisting of a number of village residents with expertise in running pubs and community venues, along with a solicitor and some parish councillors.

Discussions have been held with the brewery over the viability of a community pub initiative.

A local survey of residents revealed 95 per cent of respondents would like the White Lion to remain open and active.

And a public meeting last Thursday ended with all those in attendance voting for negotiations to go ahead.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Members of the Broadwindsor community met last week to discuss the prospect of taking over the pubMembers of the Broadwindsor community met last week to discuss the prospect of taking over the pub

The project is being led by parish councillor, David Leader.

He said: "We're going ahead with negotiations, which are looking encouraging so far. We're hoping we will be able to establish a community pub, and run it under a supporting arrangement with Palmers. We're at a stage where they are offering us a model that can work and we're hoping we can establish a good working relationship.

"There's some essential refurbishment works which need to be carried out before we can reopen and we need to raise the funds to get us going. We hope to raise money fairly quickly.

"We really want this to work, it's a much loved part of the community which has struggled for decades. We don't need to make a profit whilst former tenants did - we just need to make sure it's a viable business and it covers its costs. If there is any surplus it would be put back into the building."

He added: "We're feeling very positive, the community is so behind it. Every single person voted at the meeting for the negotiations to go ahead and for us to do everything we can to make it happen."

The minimum amount needed to be raised to go ahead with this project would be £30,000. This would cover essential refurbishment work, provide working capital to get the pub up and running and to pay for legal aspects and anything the committee is unable to do for themselves. All potential funding sources would be explored and considered, including Crowdfunder to get the project off the ground.

If the negotiations are successful, the pub would be operating under a community share issue, allowing members of the community to buy into the project in exchange for voting rights. The group are also looking into potential grants and a Crowdfunder campaign has been mooted.

The steering group estimated the pub would have to turnover £150,000 annually for the project to work.

For more information on the campaign, visit