VISITORS have been given a sneak peek inside a closed Herefordshire pub as the community group that has bought it works to bring it back to life.

Open Arms Kington recently bought the Oxford Arms, a grade II listed former coaching inn, to turn into a community hub and pub for Kington. The purchase was made possible with a grant from the Department of Levelling Up.

The directors of Open Arms Kington welcomed North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin, as well as members of the town council and local groups, to the Oxford Arms on Thursday.

Sir Bill endorsed the project and wished the group the best of luck for the next phase of their journey.


“The community pub has a valuable role to play in bringing people together and helping to combat loneliness," he said.

"To make a success of it requires a strong team, which I can see from today that you will have".

The Oxford Arms is currently closed whilst the group raise the additional funding needed to carry out essential building repairs, refurbishment and accessibility modifications.

Sir Bill was given a sneak preview of the building and a chance to hear about the group’s vision for The Oxford – to create a welcoming space for all whilst putting profit into community projects and development. It is hoped that most of the money required to move forward will be raised through a share offer to the residents of Kington and beyond. This would make it a project truly owned by Kington and its supporters.

Open Arms director Patrick Conrad said: “We are thrilled to have had Sir Bill with us today, and hope it won’t be too long before he can return to sample the food and drink we will have on offer”

The next open day at the Oxford Arms will be on Saturday, June 3, from 10am to 5pm. Visitors will be invited to share their memories of the Oxford Arms and their ideas for the future and have a chance to hear about the history of the building and more about the community share offer. The group are hoping that enough pledges of support will be given to make the next phase of their plans a reality.

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