More than £18,000 has been pledged in one week by residents hoping to save a village pub.

The community needs to raise £300,000 to take ownership of The Crown in Northwold.

The pub is the last of five in the village and is set to close at the end of the month.

Last week around 120 people attended a meeting and the pledges of support have followed.

Abbie Panks, vice-chairman of Shouldham Community Enterprises, told the gathering how the community had saved the King’s Arms pub.

She said: “I spoke about how things work in Shouldham and the benefits we’ve seen having got the pub up and open. The benefits have been huge.

“People had lived in the village for years and not had a chance to meet people. Now they have new friends and relationships.

“According to Age UK, there are people going weeks without seeing anyone. Pubs have a vital role in our community. Yes, they are business but they’re also a social place.

“That’s true up and down the country but in rural areas, they’re vital.”

Mark Vanderstay, chairman of the steering group which hopes to save The Crown, said he could not believe the support shown so far.

“It just brings home the community spirit we have, but I certainly didn’t expect that in a week. This really is an opportunity not just to save the last village pub but to make a community effort. We have the community spirit, we just need the money. So please dig deep,” he said.

The campaign group needs approval from West Norfolk Council to register the pub as an asset of public community value (ACV) and allow a buyout.

MP for South West Norfolk, Elizabeth Truss has expressed her support.

She said: “I have supported The Fox, Garboldisham and the King’s Arms, Shouldham with the community buyout of their pubs so would be delighted to work with Northwold residents.”

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