AN MP has thrown his weight behind a campaign to save a pub in Denmead.
Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery has pledged to help save the Fox & Hounds pub, and said he wants to use it for his rural surgeries.
Mr Hollingbery, who has previously spoken out about the importance of pubs to communities, is keen to help.
He said: ‘This pub has been an important community asset for many years and has always acted as a meeting place.
‘I’m convinced that the right owners could make the pub successful and restore it to its former glory.
‘If the plan to save the pub is successful, I will be using it as a venue for regular rural surgeries.’
As reported, The Fox & Hounds pub has been at the centre of a campaign to save it from being bulldozed and turned into housing.
It closed last year and the owners then submitted a planning application to Winchester City Council to build two large homes on the site.
It was turned down and villagers managed to get the building registered as a community asset.
That means they have six months to put together a bid to buy the 140-year-old building.
The Fox & Hounds Community Co-operative Limited is leading the fight to save the pub.
Director Rob Stark said: ‘We’re delighted to have George’s backing.
‘We are trying to resurrect the Fox & Hounds for the benefit of the whole community.
‘The pub has a proud 140-year history of serving the west end of the village of Denmead and we are doing all we can to preserve it.
‘We are very grateful to have our Member of Parliament supporting the campaign.’
This week the group is submitting a bid to purchase the Fox & Hounds, supported by a professional RICS valuation.
Mr Stark added: ‘This is much better than the alternative of a couple of in-fill houses which, with the amount of building going on in the village, Denmead does not need.’