Villagers aiming to save their local pub face a double challenge after its owners appealed their successful bid to make it an Asset of Community Value.
The Beehive in Horringer closed in 2014 and owners Hawthorne Leisure applied unsucessfully to convert it into a house.
Now the village wants to buy the property and turn it into a community pub.
Campaigners need financial backing to support the move. And they now face challenging the appeal by Hawthorne.
More than 200 people responded to a questionnaire with the majority saying they would support a community pub. Many also supported the idea that it could double up as a tea room or Post Office.
Peter Crofts, one of the Friends Group, said they were hoping to generate interest from the wider community and were working on a business plan to put a bid together.
He added: “We have already lost our village shop, post office, police station and now one of our local pubs. We want to do all we can to get it reopened.” To support their campaign contact Peter on 01284 735044.
A spokeswoman for Hawthorne Leisure said: “The property has been closed since before we acquired it 18 months ago. Whilst we are a pub company there are occasionally properties that don’t fit our portfolio and this one has been for sale for some time.
“We welcome offers to purchase including the local community who have not to date approached us with an offer.”