A CELEBRITY architect has become ambassador of a charity that supports rural communities.

Television presenter and architectural designer Charlie Luxton has been named 'centenary ambassador' of the Plunkett Foundation, which helps residents to protect facilities and services they value by securing community ownership.

The Woodstock-based charity is celebrating 100 years since it was founded, and will launch a centenary fundraising drive later in spring.

Oxfordshire-based Mr Luxton, who presents shows such as Homes by the Sea and Building the Dream, said: "I firmly believe that the role of community businesses, community-led housing and support organisations in tackling the challenges facing our communities have never been more necessary or potent.

"When solutions are delivered by the people for the people there is the added potential to empower and transform and create resilient and thriving places to work and live."

The 44-year-old, who is also involved in low-carbon housing projects, will help to host the charity’s events in 2019.

Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities rally behind valued local businesses facing closure, providing advice and support to help them secure community ownership.

The charity’s executive director James Alcock said: “We are thrilled that Charlie has agreed to be our centenary ambassador to help us celebrate the success of community businesses today, and give recognition to the achievements of the sector over 100 years.

“It is even more relevant as rural communities across the country face the challenges of the future.”

Plunkett Foundation’s More than a Pub programme has helped to keep valued pubs across the country open, including The Crown pub in South Moreton near Didcot.