VILLAGERS are being asked whether they would buy shares in a community pub in a bid to save a village’s last watering hole.

Last month it was revealed that The Manor, in Rectory Road, Great Holland, will not reopen it after Covid-19 following persistent complaints from neighbours.

David Salmon has submitted plans for a change of use to turn the pub and restaurant, former The Ship Inn, into a house.

It is the last pub in the village and closed at the start of the pandemic.

Paul Withams, from nearby Manor Road, banded together with villagers in a bid to save the pub, possibly as a community project.

He said more than 50 people have come forward to offer help since the campaign was launched.

The group is now launching a survey to ask locals whether they would be willing to buy shares in a community pub.

Mr Withams said: “This is people’s chance to have a say over the future of the last remaining pub in Great Holland.

“All views are welcome and we are particularly keen to know if people would be interested in owning a share of the pub.

“It's not restricted to the village. Indeed previous community pubs have been backed by people who had historic or family connections.

“Now is our chance to save an asset for the village.”

Mr Withams said hat unaware to many locals, the pub had been on the market for over a year before the current owners put in a planning application to convert it to a residential property.

“We want the pub to stay and we don’t really want the uphill struggle of making it community owned, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what we will do,” he said.

He added a number of residents have promised to contribute funds and campaigners have already spoken to residents in Great Oakley, who saved the village’s Maybush Inn in 2016.

He has also called on council planners to reject the application to give the group an opportunity to save the pub.

A report submitted as part of the application said the business was not frequented on a regular basis by people from Great Holland and the majority of patrons were out of the area.

To have your say as part of the survey, go to