A second community share offer has been launched as the fight goes on to secure the purchase of a well-known Yorkshire Dales pub.

The first share offer for the Farmers Arms in Muker, Swaledale, raised £342,000, but efforts to secure money from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund suffered a major setback due to the announcement of the General Election. 

Officials from Muker Community Benefit Society had hoped to receive a decision on their application towards the end of May, but instead were told there would be no further announcements from the fund "at this time".

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the society’s chairman, said: “All the advice we’ve received says that we cannot rely on the Community Owership Fund (COF) being available after the General Election and that it will be many months before any alternative scheme becomes available.

"Given the level of support and enthusiasm for the project, instead of giving up, the society feels the best approach is to raise the funds ourselves."

A keen supporter of the community purchase has already stepped in to provide a loan that bridges more than half the gap left by the halting of COF, so rather than having to raise £250,000, the society’s minimum target is £80,000.

Ian Evan, the society’s treasurer, said: “Though the withdrawal of COF was an undoubted blow, raising the funds ourselves frees us from the obligations that come with a COF grant and if successful, will secure the funds much more quickly.

"Though we realise just how generous the Farmers Arms community has already been, we hope that just a little more generosity and one last push will see us over the line."

More information about the share offer, which has already been taken up by more than 460 people, is available at http://mukercbs.org, or call 01748 889992.