A COMMUNITY'S bid to save their beloved village pub has hit a major milestone after residents reached their fundraising target in just three days.

Last week saw Combe St Nicholas' Save The Dragon campaign launch a JustGiving page to help them fund their initial due diligence costs.

And the effort passed the £2,500 mark within 72 hours, thanks to backing from more than 85 difference people.

Dave Crossman spearheaded the launch of the Save The Dragon group and is a member of the steering committee.

He said: "We have raised more than £3,000, and anything that we raise above our target will go towards the bid to buy the Green Dragon.

"The JustGiving page will stay open for the next few weeks if people still want to donate.

"I was delighted that within the space of three days we smashed the target for due diligence.

"This only works if we have the community involved and getting to that target was done by donations from 85 different people, which says that there is a lot of people interested in this.

"Clearly this is a very early part of the process but this shows there is significant hope for the scheme work."

The Save The Dragon campaign has also secured the services of the Plunkett Foundation, which helps rural communities to launch and run community businesses.

Mr Crossman added: "Our first meeting with them is on Wednesday and we will start looking at getting the pub an asset of community valuation, and then we can start the right to bid process in January or February.

"It is all positive at the moment and we have not had any reason to stop.

"We want people to be aware that we are making progress and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, but there is a process we have to follow."

If everything goes to plan, the doors of the Green Dragon could be open again some time next year.

"It depends on how quickly we can raise the money, and grant applications will help a lot with that," said Mr Crossman.

"The Plunkett Foundation have their own grant and there is the Somerset Community Fund, and if we can get those then it is about half of the money needed to buy the pub.

"Hopefully we could have it open again within 2021, but there is still a lot to do.

"The Plunkett Foundation says the process normally takes 12 to 24 months from the start of the campaign to the purchase and reopening, and we are currently two months into that."

The £2,500 raised cover a professional business valuation, a structural survey, searches, registration of our society under the Financial Conduct Authority and all communication costs.

To donate to the campaign, you can visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/save-the-dragon.

Alternatively, you can email the steering committee at savethegreendragoncsn@gmail.com.