A 17th century pub in Herefordshire which has been closed for more than a year could soon get a new lease of life after villagers struck a deal to reopen it.

The grade II listed Boot Inn, at Orleton, near Ludlow, closed in June last year when the company which ran it was put into liquidation.

But the community interest company, Orleton Community Benefit Society, set up to save the pub has now agreed a price with liquidators to take it over.

There had been fears it might have been sold for redevelopment, but the parish council listed it as a community asset, giving the community first option to buy the pub.

Orleton Community Benefit Society chairman John Alderman, said: “Our vision to put The Boot back at the heart of our community is just a few steps away thanks to our many supporters.

“We have received a significant number of generous pledges from individuals and local businesses to provide financial investment.

“Following successful completion of the sale process we will commence repairs and refurbishment of the building and be selecting an experienced and proactive licensee to run the business.

“The Boot replicates the successful business model used to purchase many of the other community pubs around the country, the number of which has increased from just five in 2010 to more than 130 to date.”

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