A pub that looked destined to remain empty and fall into disrepair has re-opened thanks to the efforts of villagers.
The Old Kings Head in Long Buckby closed seven months ago and villagers were concerned over the future of the building and possible vandalism.
However, Christopher Morton, who lives in the village, led a team of investors to take over the pub and it officially re-opened on Friday.
More than 150 people attended the opening and by the end of the weekend, the pub was fully booked for Christmas Day meals.
Mr Morton said: “It feels absolutely great to take over the pub.
“I am a local lad from Long Buckby and I studied catering at Northampton College, so what I want to create is a homely village pub offering good food and four local changing ales from Marstons.”
During the pub’s closure Mr Morton said villagers were worried about the safety of the building and that it left just one other pub in the village.
He said: “There were worries it would be set on fire because of the thatched roof or that it would sit dilapidated, so we want people to know it’s been taken over with a fresh look and is being looked after and run by local people.”
Mr Morton said it was fantastic to see that level of support from the village.
Mr Morton, who worked in catering in Spain and France for several years, will run the pub with his aunt, Susan Bedborough, from Yelvertoft, Val Childs, from Long Buckby, and friend Desmond Scarborough, from Braunston.
The pub is to employ an apprentice chef through the Train to Gain scheme and will open for birthdays, weddings and wakes and also offers an outside hog roast catering service.
Mr Morton said: “We will be running a wine club which means people can pick a bottle from out brochure and it will arrive the next day at around £3 to £4 cheaper than anywhere else.
“We are also running a workers’ club from 5pm until 7pm selling ales at a reduced rate and a carvery on Sunday from noon until 4 where children can eat free.
“We know that people are finding it hard in this climate so we are about more than just the pocket,” Mr Morton added.