It is a historic day today, as a pub that was bought by its community after being of the market for two years, opens under community ownership.

The Cross Inn in Hayscastle was finally bought by the community on November 1 after a dedicated fundraising campaign.

More than £200,000 was raised in community share funding and just over £240,000 in grant funding from the UK Community Ownership Fund.

Since the The Cross Inn Community Benefit Society took hold of the keys it has been all hands on deck with tradespeople and volunteers painting, upgrading the electrics and fire safety requirements and cleaning.

The bar has been given a facelift and doors, walls and ceilings made over with a lick of paint.

Last night volunteers were working hard washing glasses, stocking up, cleaning and preparing for today’s grand opening at 4pm.

The pub will then be open until 11pm with a draw to decide who will have the first ever drink at the refurbished bar and Welsh beers, spirits and lagers, as well as cakes on offer.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the pub will be open from 12pm until 11pm with the Armenia V Wales match on the big screen at 2pm and live music from Iestyn Gordon in the evening.

On Sunday there will be roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings, Music bingo at 2pm and live music from Phil and Co from 4pm. The pub will shut at 10pm.

Phase Two of the pub’s renovation work is due to take place next year. The Cross Inn’s restaurant is scheduled to close for a major refurbishment with a full bar and restaurant relaunch scheduled to take place in Spring 2024.

Once the outline plans for the second phase are ready, the CBS will hold an open meeting where people can come along and comment on their favourite ideas and offer any final suggestions.

The plan is to maintain a limited bar service during the restaurant overhaul.

The Cross Inn, is the only pub in the village of Hayscastle and the only one within a radius of three miles of the village.

For the last 160 years it has been run continuously by the Phillips family.

However, for the last two years the pub has been on the market.

With no buyers coming forward, the local community, which has already lost two garages, a shop, a Post Office, and the local school, was determined to not only buy the pub, but enhance its role at the centre of village life.

The profits from the commercial operation will all be invested in essential community hub services lost to the village over the recent years.

The team plans to restore some of the essential services that the community desperately needs with hopes of delivering a local shop selling foods produced locally, a transport hub for the community, with the potential of providing electric charging points and a rural bus information hub and a range of regular social activities to meet the needs of all groups within the community.