A community group has announced it has taken ownership of a village pub after a major fundraising campaign.

The Black Lion, in Skelton-on-Ure, near Ripon, closed its doors in December 2019, and work started following a public meeting two years ago for the community to try and get control.

The pub was recognised as an asset of community value in 2022, and last July financial pledges from shareholder contributions reached £240,000.

Members of the Skelton-on-Ure pub and hub community group were then successful in securing a substantial grant from the government’s Community Ownership Fund, which meant a serious offer of purchase could be made to owners Admiral Taverns.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Villagers in Skelton-on-Ure celebrate taking ownership of the Black Lion pub

After a series of legal delays, the group announced on Thursday that it now has the keys.

A spokesperson said it came “after a huge amount of work” by the steering group.

“Thanks to The Plunkett Foundation, Ancora Law of Hull, the staff at DCMS who run the levelling up funding, Harrogate BC and all the other people who have helped us achieve this result,” added the spokesperson.

“The real work is only now about to commence as the fabric of the building has suffered during the years of closure and general lack of upkeep. The volunteer management team will now welcome any volunteer help, contributions and donations.”

The contact is secretary@skeltonblacklion.com for offers of assistance, and further information is available at www.skeltonblacklion.com.

The village has just 360 residents, and until its closure, the Black Lion had been open for 200 years.