A PUB in Herefordshire could be set to be taken over and revamped as part of a community groups £500,000 plans.

The Oxford Arms in Kington could soon be a hub for the town, if a group of locals can get the community behind it and raise the substantial sum.

The group, Open Arms Kington, wants to start a social enterprise that will contribute to the town's social and economic regeneration and help build long-term community resilience coming out of the Covid pandemic.


Its plans centre around the pub, in Duke Street, with the group wanting to create a space that presents opportunities for a wide range of ages, abilities and interests.

It is all part of the hope to secure a vibrant future for the landmark building, a 17th-century town centre coaching inn which boasts a bar, restaurant, function room, six ensuite letting bedrooms, owners accommodation, a beer patio and car park.

Consultation is currently underway as to what should be done to the building, with ideas already voiced including a dedicated space for young people, regular music and performance venue, super-fast fibre broadband and live streaming events, a workshop/meeting space and a fully accessible provision for people with disabilities.

Mari Fforde, from the group, said: "We have estimated that we will probably need about £500k to cover the cost of the purchase of the Oxford Arms and the work that will be needed to create the spaces that will be needed.

"It is a listed building so it's not completely straightforward.

"We are right in the middle of community consultation at the moment and are having some fantastic conversations with people about what they would like to see happening if we were able to buy the pub."


The group has just heard it has been awarded a National Lottery Community Fund grant of £10,000.

Director Judith Gardner said: “Our aim is to not only secure the traditional role of the Oxford as a much loved local building and hostelry, but to build on and expand the socially and emotionally rich community value it holds for the town.

"All surpluses generated by the business will be returned to the community to help provide much needed services that have been lost over recent years.”

For more information, visit: openarmskington.co.uk