A community has moved a step closer to realising their dream of saving their village pub after receiving an £80,000 confidence boost.

Four weeks ago, The Lowther Arms Community Project (LACP) launched their campaign to buy The Lowther Arms pub at Mawbray, needing to raise £250,000 to £300,000 to reopen and transform it.

The Mawbray community has received confirmation that, alongside the pub shares, the project can access £80,000 as a grant and funding package to contribute towards the cost of buying their pub.

The task of raising money from shares was made harder with Covid-19 restricting their activity, but whilst initial share sales were slow, momentum has grown in the last week. News that the project can access £80,000 is also likely to increase interest in buying shares further afield.

The combined package is made up of £40,000 grant from the Plunkett Foundation which helps communities set up and run life-changing community co-operatives.

The additional £40,000 is a loan from Key Fund, a team funded by like-minded social entrepreneurs and philanthropists whose ambition is to strengthen local communities and support new enterprises by providing finance to help community and social enterprises start-up, become sustainable, and grow.

LACP spokesman Christopher Atkinson said: “The fact that we’ve successfully accessed the grant and funding has been a real boost to the community. Psychologically it has also given people more confidence in our campaign. But we still need people to buy shares, so anyone who is interested in buying shares or making a donation can do so on line at www.thelowtherarms.co.uk

“We’ve been campaigning on the coast and know there is real local interest, it just needed a few people to lead the way. As well as local people, there are share enquiries and sales from across the country.

“Outside of Cumbria, the hot spots for shares are the North East and Yorkshire. It’s not a surprise, because we get a lot of holiday visitors from these areas and they are keen to see the pub reopen.”

The pub sits a stone’s throw from the beaches and dunes of the Solway Coast, so locals believe it would become the UK’s first Coastal Community Pub.

Pulling in all aspects of the community, they have created a socially distanced community video and are encouraging people to spread the word about the share offer by sharing stories, videos and messages on their Facebook page @lowtherarmscommunityproject

Anyone who is interested in buying shares or making a donation can find out more at www.thelowtherarms.co.uk or contact Vivienne Coleman on 01900 881441.