A CAMPAIGN has raised more than half the minimum amount needed to save a community pub.

Gilsland residents are fighting to save their local pub, the Samson Inn and are preparing to apply to the Community Ownership Fund on January 31 to buy it.

The village, which straddles the Northumberland and Cumbria border on Hadrian’s Wall, attracts visitors from across the world. The Samson Inn, used by the community and tourists alike, closed in October 2022.

News and Star: The Samson Inn funds on the beer-o-meterThe Samson Inn funds on the beer-o-meter (Image: Supplied)

The community then established the group Save Our Samson, from which Gilsland Community Benefit Society Limited (GCBSL) was created.

The price of £295,000 has been agreed for the pub, subject to contract and funding, and £130,000 - £160,000 in share pledges must be raised by the community before the end of January to secure the funding necessary to purchase the pub.

The share pledge is open to everyone aged 18 and over to support the campaign.

It was launched on December 7 and more than £30,000 was raised in three days by 60 people, before reaching £68,000 at Christmas. 

Jane McDaid, chair of GCBSL, said as of January 2, £81,000 has been raised in share pledges towards the minimum of £130,000 needed before the GCBSL can apply for funding.

A 'beer-o-meter' has been created to display the total amount raised. 

"If we are successful with the Community Ownership Fund grant application, we would hope to acquire the pub in March and open with a tenant in April," Jane said.

"The community have been fantastic, they are responding so well. We've engaged with some of them on surveys on what they want out of the pub. It's a community-based pub with a food offer for both the community and visitors.

"We need the community to keep coming forward because we need to get to £130,000 but it's been a fantastic response so far."

Jane added: "Keep the beer-o-meter flowing and keep the share pledges coming in."

Pledges are being sold for £1 and the minimum number of shares to buy is 25.

The Community Ownership Fund application must be submitted by January 31. To buy a pledge, visit the website gcbsl.co.uk, contact Jane on 07970895970 or email sosamsoninn@gmail.com.