VILLAGERS in Stoke St Gregory are in high spirits as they get their local pub plastered.

Plans are brewing up nicely and it's been all hands to the pump as residents roll up their sleeves to get the Royal Oak up and running again.

Dozens of people in the village decided to act after fears they could lose their corner shop and a pub.

They set up the Heart of the Village Project (HOTV) to buy the Royal Oak premises and the stock and goodwill of the Village Stores.

The pub has been closed for months and the shop has been running from a temporary shipping container.

HOTV bought the pub premises in August after a mammoth fundraising initiative offering shares in the venture.

The shop will also be relocated to the premises.

Spokesperson Graham Gleed said the scheme has reached "a significant milestone".

He added: "Future plans include offering much more than a good pint, as the refurbished pub will also include a community café.

"The village community has a very optimistic outlook in establishing a newly refurbished pub and hub for the village, owned by the community for the community."

Colleague Tim Slattery said: "Over many years Stoke St Gregory, has built a reputation for adapting to the challenging, the complex and the unexpected.

"Stoke Saint Gregory, was in danger of losing its heart. The pub closed and in the past year its only shop closed and moved into a temporary shipping container.

"The community clubbed together and raised sufficient funds to buy the pub and took procession of the pub on August 26.

"It has been all hands to the pumps ever since, steered on by the HOTV project group in theses challenging times.

"Neighbours and volunteers are offering a huge amount of practical support, including plastering and painting, to refurbish and repurpose the village pub for community use.

"The temporary village shop in the box is gearing up to move into the pub."