COMMUNITIES getting together to takeover their own pubs is increasingly being seen as a way of saving much-loved locals.

The third meeting of the new Oxfordshire community pub network took place in the Ampleforth Arms in Risinghurst last week.

The county's only urban community pub, the Ampleforth was recently forced to close for a week due to staffing issues but has now re-opened again as normal.

Graham Shelton, one of the organisers of the network, said the pub showed it was possible the model could work in the city as well as in villages.

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The meeting shared success stories on how to retain hard-working staff members as the group seek to learn from one another's successes.

A specially-brewed pint is also set to be released later this year to help form closer ties with the county's burgeoning brewery scene.

Mr Shelton, who himself helped to save the Red Lion in Northmoor from closure, said: "It is a lot of hard work but great fun as well.

"There's no manual for success but it's about finding out what will work in that particular area."