DRINKERS who raised £75,000 to buy their local pub have had their hopes dashed after its owner ruled that it was not for sale.

The co-ordinator of an 80-strong group set up in June to buy The Crown, in Charlton-on-Otmoor, north Oxfordshire, said she was disappointed negotiations had failed. The group started securing pledges of funding in June this year after hearing the pub was for sale and fearing it could be converted into offices or a shop.

They managed to have the pub designated as an “asset of community value”, which means it cannot be sold without the community being offered a chance to buy it.

But pub owner Admiral Taverns said it had leased the pub to a new tenant and it was not for sale.

Resident Karen Kelly, 42, said: “Our concern is that the community will not be given the opportunity to bid for the pub.”