Less than two years since the successful campaign to buy the Vale of Aeron as a community pub, a new social enterprise has been launched just four miles away in Cribyn.

This time, the community’s aim is not a pub, but a school.

It’s 15 years since Ysgol Gymunedol Cribyn closed.

"Things weren’t looking good then," said Alan Henson, chair of Cymdeithas Clotas – the community group who’ve instigated the school project.

"There were lots of new houses in the village but just 8 children. It was the old story – the young moving out and generally older people moving in."

Until Covid, Ceredigion used the school for various purposes and the community retained the right to use it as a centre for evening and weekend social activities.

Nia and Nerys Llewelyn, the last children to be brought up in the school house, being interviewed during at the start of the campaign to buy Ysgol Cribyn and turn one of the classrooms (the former school house) into an affordable home for a local family. (Supplied)

"That good arrangement more or less came to an end during the pandemic," added Alan.

"The place was commandeered as a PPE store. With the chapel vestry recently condemned as unsafe, once the crisis was over we had no place to come together. For such a vibrantly Welsh community as Cribyn that was a big problem – just at the time we needed to get people back together again."

In January, after more than a year of constant lobbying, Ceredigion resolved to clear its store and to give the local community six months to buy the school before its release to the open market.

With time of the essence, an Ysgol Cribyn Community Benefit Society has been formed and a grand party held to launch the share issue to raise £175,000.

Alan said: "Allowing as many people as possible to co-own this great asset is an important step towards unlocking its potential."

According to the initial plans, that potential will include not only the creation of a multi-purpose community centre but also the conversion of part of the building into an affordable home for a local family. ‘

Alan added: "We want Ysgol Cribyn to be an active ingredient in the process of making our rural, Welsh-speaking community the place to be for future generations."

Cribyn maybe small – just 300 inhabitants – but its ambition is big and Alan believes is relevant to all our rural communities, adding: "We’ve got six months to buy and we’ve given ourselves six weeks to raise the money.

"The important word there is ‘we’. We’re doing it ourselves!"

To support Cribyn’s action and venture you’re welcome to visit its website www.ysgolcribyn.cymru