A group of people trying to restore a historic 15th-century Wiltshire pub are on course to reopen it later this year after raising more than £150,000 from a second share issue.

Members of the Limpley Stoke Community Benefit Society say their share issue has now gone ‘live’ after raising the minimum they needed.

Residents in Limpley Stoke, near Bradford on Avon, have been fighting to save The Hop Pole Inn since 2021 and hope to reopen it in October.

The group managed to save the pub from being sold for residential development and completed its purchase in February 2022.

Limpley Stoke CBS  launched the second share issue in October last year in a bid to raise a further £300,000.

They aimed to raise the minimum £150,000 they needed by the end of January 2024 for the project to go ahead, otherwise they would have had to give up their plans to restore and renovate the Grade II listed pub. 

Limpley Stoke CBS chair Simon Coombes said: “We’re delighted to announce our second share issue rolled over the finishing line just ahead of the deadline.

“By the end of January, we had raised over £150,000 and, as a result, the management committee have declared the share issue live.

“Everyone who subscribed will receive their share certificate in the coming weeks so please keep your eye out for yours. A huge thank you again to everyone that invested in this important share issue.

“A special thank you to all those people in the USA, Australia, elsewhere overseas and across the UK, who may not be able to visit the Hop Pole, but who still got behind the campaign.

“This includes a matched funding pledge of £3k from a generous US investor. We're so grateful - you are making this happen! We are now as confident as we can be that the Hop Pole will reopen in 2024.

“Please go ahead and raise a glass to the future of the pub and look forward to some pop-up events in the pub over the spring and summer ahead of our autumn (fingers crossed) reopening.”

So far, the group have raised £1,020,000 and the £180,000 still needed represents the last of the funds required to reopen the Hop Pole.

So far, nearly 800 have people invested in the two share issues and a further £330,000 has been raised from grants.

The group’s aim is to create a successful business in the heart of the village that will reinvest surplus profits back into the local community.

Mr Coombes added: “While this is all great news, we must stress that there is still a lot of hard work to do and our finances remain incredibly tight.

“It isn’t too late to invest and our share offer will remain open until 30th June with all funds being carefully allocated to the project, so please keep your generous funds coming in.”

He says the group hopes to advertise after Easter for a new tenant to run the pub, which was used as a film location for The Remains of the Day starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

In the meantime, Wiltshire Council recently approved the final phase of work needed to restore and renovate the village pub.

The last section of the plan involves improving the kitchen, toilets and beer garden to make the outside more accessible.

The group is now looking for more volunteers to deliver leaflets, scrounge building materials, provide labour and to donate prizes for an auction to raise more funds.

To subscribe for shares, click here.