A buyer has been found for a pub in Minchinhampton, beating a community bid.

The Crown Inn, currently owned by Ei Publican Partnerships, went up for sale late last year, having closed in 2012.

A community group was given six months to make a bid for the pub before anyone else as the Crown Inn is under special protections granted by the 2011 Localism Act.

But Minchinhampton Crown Limited failed to meet its fundraising before the six month deadline was up, despite receiving over three hundred pledges from residents of the town and beyond.

Now, with the moratorium on a sale over, an Ei spokesperson has said: “We can confirm we have agreed terms on the sale of the freehold of The Crown, Minchinhampton and are hoping to complete the deal in the coming weeks.”

The spokesperson did not confirm the identity of the buyer but, according to one of the directors of MCI Ltd, whoever it is plans to re-open the Crown as a pub.

“Ei is continuing its negotiations with an organisation which plans to restore and reopen it as an inn,” said Simon Witney in a post to the MCI Ltd Facebook group.

“Ei hasn't disclosed the name of the potential purchaser. However we are sure that you will agree that this could be very good news.”

Until Ei wraps up negotiations, MCI Ltd will hold on to locals' money in case the situation changes.