VILLAGERS who feared the closure of their local pub have pledged to get it “back in shape” after reaching a deal to buy it for £336,000.

A group of Hedsor residents have exchanged contracts to buy The Garibaldi, and expect it to be owned by the community by February 8.

Electronics engineer James Robinson, 35, who has been going to the pub for 15 years, said: "We're elated to have reached this milestone. It is fantastic to see so many local residents come forward and support the project, they all deserve a massive thank you."

"There is still a lot to do to get the business back in shape, most of all placing the right tenant in the pub to work with us in renovating the pub and making it the success we know it can be."

The Hedsor Road pub, like the squashed currant biscuits, is named after Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, who fought to unify his country in the 19th century. 

It had been operating under a short-term lease arrangement after owner Punch Taverns put the freehold up for sale.

An estate agent was advertising its potential for residential conversion, but more than 100 villagers joined the ‘Save the Garibaldi’ campaign to buy the freehold and keep the premises as a pub.

The group have raised £350,000 so far but are trying to reach £400,000 so the pub can also be renovated.