After a 2-year campaign, supporters of the White Hart in St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire have successfully reached their goal and saved the popular village pub from closure. Residents of the village, together with many supporters from further afield, have got together to buy the 250-year old pub, with plans to reopen it as a community hub.

Dismayed and saddened at the possibility of losing the last traditional pub in the village, the local residents rallied together and formed a “Save the Hart” campaign when the pub closed its doors in 2019. The White Hart Community Inn Ltd was formed as a Community Benefit Society and a community share offer was launched with the guidance of the Wales Cooperative Centre.

After 2 years of fundraising and campaigning enough money has been raised through individual supporters purchasing community shares together with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government via the Social Business Growth Fund administered by Social Investment Cymru at WCVA, alongside a grant from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Local resident and Chair, Justin Walters, said:

“The hundreds of hours that have been put in to saving our wonderful old pub have been worth every second, and we are especially grateful to those who kept the dream alive over the past 2 years. We are grateful to all who have invested in this incredible community venture. With over 450 shareholders, from all corners of the world, we are confident that under community ownership we can revive the fortunes of the White Hart”.

“The support we have received throughout our campaign from hundreds of steadfast supporters has been truly amazing. Several other community owned pubs and 4CG Cardigan provided invaluable

advice, alongside support from the Development Trusts Association Wales and the Plunkett Foundation.”

Shareholders Andy and Carole sent one of the many messages of support and congratulations

“CONGRATULATIONS!!!

It must be an awesome feeling to have achieved this after so much hard work by all of you there. I’m so delighted that I can now say that I’m a shareholder in a pub – something I’d not even thought about until a few years ago when you folks were handing out leaflets outside the Abbey – and if I’m delighted at just being a shareholder, I can’t imagine how you all are feeling!

Please pass on our thanks to all concerned in the venture.”

County Councillor Mike James said:

“The incredible response to the campaign reflects the hugely important role the White Hart plays in the local community. We hope that we can once more enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company at the White Hart — a community pub.”

The team behind the success has now stepped up its fundraising campaign to pay for repairs to the building and prepare the pub to open its doors to the community once more. The share offer remains open and it is still possible to buy a stake in the pub. Email info@whci.cymru for more information or visit the St Dogmaels Tuesday Producers Market to chat to members of the committee.

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