A PUB saved by a village community near Oxford is seeking a new landlord.

In March last year villagers in Marsh Baldon celebrated five years since The Seven Stars pub was saved from closure.

The 350-year-old hostelry had been run by four different landlords in 10 years and community leaders decided to save it from the threat of closure.

READ AGAIN: Oxfordshire villagers celebrate saving Seven Stars pub

Families from Marsh Baldon and surrounding villages formed the Baldons and Nuneham Community Society (BNCS), enabling them to buy shares in the 350-year-old pub and own it themselves.

Oxford Mail:

With help from the existing owner – investment company founder David Harding – they managed to buy the pub and Matt Ford was appointed as landlord.

READ AGAIN: Villagers happy as Seven Stars pub in Marsh Baldon reopens

Now more than a year after the five-year anniversary celebrations, The Seven Stars is seeking a new landlord as Mr Ford has decided to leave.

A member of staff said: “The pub will continue to be run by the community group.

“The Seven Stars needs a new landlord and Matt Ford is expected to stay on as landlord until the new tenant comes in.

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“It’s the landlord who will be changing, not the ownership of the pub.”

Specialist business property adviser Christie & Co is selling the leasehold interest for the asking price of £99,950.

Oxford Mail:

A spokesman said The Seven Stars has undergone ‘significant refurbishment’ and enjoys an enviable reputation for its food, benefitting from a high turnover.

Tim Widdows, Business Agent at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, said: “The Seven Stars presents a fabulous opportunity to acquire a traditional village pub with a relaxed and contemporary feel.

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“The pub would be an ideal asset for a hands on operator looking to drive the business forward and maximise on the affluent location and strong local following.

“This would be a great lifestyle business for someone looking to join village life and run a thriving business at the heart of the community.”

After the pub was taken over by the BNCS committee its barn was converted into a spacious restaurant.

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And the hard work of the community group was rewarded in 2016 when the Seven Stars won CAMRA pub of the year.

The landlord and the committee did their best to ensure it was a genuine community pub – offering coffee, cake and a place to meet in the mornings and a focal point for village events.

It was home to book clubs, the cricket team and wine club, as well as being used for wedding receptions. Investors in the pub were paid a small dividend on their investment, kept up to date with developments and invited to an annual meeting.

A birthday party last year featured music, dancing, along with a special celebration menu in honour of the event and a speciality beer.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire community pubs brew their own beer

The Bull in Great Milton, which counts chef Raymond Blanc as one of its owners, is also a community-owned pub.

Oxford Mail:

Last year community-owned pubs in the county teamed up to brew their own pint to sell across the county. The network of community pubs worked with local brewer Oxbrew to create Community Endeavour beer.