AN OXFORDSHIRE pub, saved by the community after former owners decided to call time, will become 'the heart of the community'.

Publicans Aimee Bronock and Joe Walton, who is also the head chef, are the proud new tenants at Beckley's Abingdon Arms after a grand re-opening on Thursday.

It follows a campaign by the Beckley and Area Community Benefit Society to save the former Brakspear pub from closure.

The campaign raised £504,000 from 280 investors in just two months last year.

Ms Bronock, who is 37 and from Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, said she hoped the new pub would fast become a place which was for everyone, not just villagers.

She said: "Joe and I are excited about taking on The Abingdon Arms.

"The pub has got loads of potential with its amazing location just four miles from central Oxford and incredible views over Otmoor.

"We want to focus on the food side of the business and are both passionate about using local produce where we can.

"We hope The Abingdon Arms will be well used by locals but also cater to those from further afield too.”

The pub has now been completely refurbished after the efforts of a team of more than 100 local volunteers, with the interior lightened up and the garden area refurbished.

Ms Bronock added that there were ambitious plans ahead for the pub in order to make it the heart of the village.

She said: "We are looking at lots of different options for becoming the focal point of the community and the villages in the surrounding area.

"Firstly we will introduce coffee mornings and the pub will open a bit earlier so people can come and socialise.

"We also want to host groups as well and we are keen at having local artists coming and displaying their artworks."

Speaking of the challenges involving in running a village pub she said: "I think the challenges are the same as in other pubs and all across the country.

"It's getting people through the doors at a time when they have less disposable income and also offering a high quality service with high quality food that is affordable."

The pub in High Street is now open and serving customers from Tuesdays to Sundays each week.