Campaigners are rallying to save a village's pub which has closed.

The Bat and Ball, on High Street in Cuddesdon, near Wheatley, shut its doors last year but the community launched a ‘Save The Bat and Ball’ campaign.

Admiral Taverns owns the pub and when the last tenant Martyn Driscoll left the pub was put up for sale.

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To protect it from being sold without consultation, the Cuddesdon and Denton Parish Council decided to apply for an asset of community value status.

An asset of community value is a building or land where its main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future.

If the pub does become a registered asset of community value, it means that a sale cannot proceed until the nominating community organisation has been given the chance to be treated as a potential bidder.

In their latest Facebook post, Save the Bat and Ball campaigners posted: "You’ll remember we managed to register the pub as an Asset of Community Value.

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"This means we have until the 7th of June to tell SODC we will be submitting a community bid. If we do, we have until October 26 to submit the bid. Admiral can only sell it to us during this period.

"Admiral do not have to accept our offer or anyone else’s. After the 26th of October they can sell to anyone."

Oxford Mail: The Bat and BallThe next step for supporters of the campaign is to set up a suitable non-profit organisation to raise money to buy the pub and make the offer. 

Members buy a share in the Community Benefit Society – normally a minimum of £50 and a maximum of £100,000.

The Facebook post adds: "In addition we will need to organise our own survey and valuation; establish the repair costs; find a tenant; produce a prospectus as the basis of the share offer and then raise the money. There are also government grants for community pubs."

The campaign to save the pub is being led by Nicko King, Peter Rutt and Philip Spinks.

Cuddesdon is a village about two miles from Wheatley.

There are about 10 community-owned pubs across Oxfordshire.

These include the historic Lamb & Flag in St Giles in Oxford, which reopened on October 6, 2022, after nearly two years of closure.

It has been leased by St John’s College to a Community Interest Company called the Inklings.

Bids by the community to take over pubs do not always succeed.

Villagers in Yarnton attempted to raise funds to buy the Red Lion after it closed but could not raise enough cash.

The pub reopened at the end of last year after it was bought by Oak Taverns.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.