A COUPLE who have taken over a village pub say they want to 'bring the community together'.
Matt and Kathleen Capel became leaseholders of the Bull Ring pub in Kingstone on January 2.
They have spent the last three months renovating the pub and say they hope to provide a hub for villagers to meet.
Mrs Capel, who has been the front of house manager at the Kilpeck Inn for two years, said: "I have always wanted to have my own pub. It's what I have done most of my working life. We just really enjoy the social side of it as well as the business side of it.
"We have both done outside bars for weddings and things for years and thought why not do it for ourselves.
"We just want to bring the community back together really. They have had nothing here and no place to meet or go for a drink or bring friends and family.
"We want to keep it going and keep Kingstone happy with having somewhere to go. We are very proactive as a couple so there will be events and always something for villagers to do."
The couple say they 'gutted' the property, removing everything but the walls and the roof, before rebuilding and renovating it. They held a hugely successful launch event last Friday for villagers.
Mrs Capel said: "We were absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of people that were there."
There are also plans to take on more bar staff and kitchen staff when the kitchen is built next month.
Councillor for Wormside, Jon Johnson, added: "There was growing concern several months ago that the pub would face closure within the parish, as it needed investment and fresh vision.
"The potential of the pub at the heart of an ever-growing community is an essential place for people to meet, and share life together.
"The fantastic makeover of the pub, encompassing space for having a drink whilst watching sport, sitting down to dine or spend an afternoon in the sun whilst the children play, has fulfilled and surpassed my expectations.
"I think Matt and Kath are to be highly commended and I think the turnout on Friday night showed the support for this pub. I wish them every success for the coming months and years."