A SOUTH Ceredigion village pub - saved for the community by a £380,000 fund-raising drive that attracted support from Hollywood - has been given a cash injection for the next stage of renovations by the UK Government.

The Vale of Aeron in Felin-fach secured a key investment of £300,000 through the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund this week.

The pub closed its doors at the beginning of October 2021 in a “huge blow” to the community, and a group soon started formulating plans to buy it back and run it for the community.

The Menter Tafarn y Dyffryn campaign attracted over 600 donations including from actors Matthew Rhys and Rhys Ifans.

The fund-raising target of £330,000 was surpassed just before Christmas 2021.

The Vale of Aeron, alos known as Tafarn y Vale, reopened as a community-owned pub in May 2022 after raising the cash through a community share offer which was used to purchase the building.

The £300,000 cash boost from the community fund will now be used to begin the next phase of renovations.

The money will be used to fund a “substantial renovation programme” over the next 12 months, the group behind the project said.

The work will include upgrading the toilets and kitchen facilities, improving accessibility and installing energy efficiency measures to make the business more sustainable.

Iwan Thomas, one of the directors of the initiative, said: “This is a very important milestone in Tafarn y Vale’s journey as a community-owned asset in Dyffryn Aeron.

“This investment will allow us to build on the progress we’ve made so far and fully deliver our business plan, which includes opening the restaurant, extending our current opening hours and ensuring that the building is accessible to all.”

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, who has supported the campaign since the fund-raising drive was launched - calling the pub’s closure a “huge blow” to the community - said he was “very pleased that a community project in Ceredigion has been able to take advantage of the Community Ownership Fund.”

“Tafarn y Vale, like many other rural pubs, is a vital asset for the community - creating jobs and supporting the local economy, as well as giving local people a place to socialise and come together.

“Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard on this application.”

The pub, which was frequented by legendary poet Dylan Thomas when he lived nearby in the 1940s, is one of three Welsh projects set to receive £770,057 in funding from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund to keep them open for future generations.

The Community Ownership Fund supports treasured institutions like pubs, museums and sports clubs across the UK so that they can be run by the community, for the community.

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “These latest Welsh recipients of the Community Ownership Fund are all fantastic projects that will make a huge difference to their local areas.

We are proud to be supporting people to take control of their local assets. Levelling up is at the centre of the UK Government’s ambitions and communities across Wales will be transformed over the coming years as this funding continues.”