THE future of a Hampshire pub has been secured after a bid from a local drinks business.

The Lapstone in Horton Heath looks set to survive after Thirstee Business had a bid accepted by the owners.

The pub has been shut since March, after being put on the market by Ei Publican Partnerships, and a community campaign to save it was started amid fears it could be bought by a developer.

Campaigners had the pub listed as an asset of community value with Eastleigh Borough Council – the first pub to be given this status in the borough.

This gave the 150-strong community group six months to raise funds to purchase the pub or for rival bidders, who could guaranteed the Lapstone’s future, to come forward.

The bid, which the Echo understands falls just shy of £400,000, has come from Thirstee Business, who supply drinks to around 300 pubs and clubs in the Solent area.

The purchase would make the Lapstone the company’s first pub.

Alick Leech, operations manager of Chandler’s Ford-based Thirstee, said: “We want to work with the community group and get their views on things. It’s going to continue as a pub, which we hope will please members of the community, and we may look in the future to expand it as a restaurant.”

Owners Ei Public Partnerships, formerly Enterprise Inns, were unable to confirm the bid had been officially accepted, but stated that they were in talks with a potential buyer.