A RAILWAY Village pub where police once found guns will soon be filled with the smell of freshly-made buns, thanks to more than £100,000 of charity and council dough.

The Bakers Arms will reopen as a community café this week after a makeover that saw builders rip out moulding bar and restore historic fireplaces in the 150-year-old pub.

It will prove a major reversal of fortune for the Emlyn Square pub, which was once a source of anti-social behaviour and ire for residents.

In December 2011, police raided the Bakers Arms and found a shotgun and a large amount of what officers suspected was cocaine. The pub was closed three months later after a review by the council’s licensing panel.

Now, the Mechanics Institution Trust has taken on the 25-year lease for the building from Swindon Borough Council. Over the past year, the Railway Village charity has completely restored the old pub, with a new kitchen, new flooring, electrics and renovated three-bedroom flat above the ground floor pub. GWR art and artefacts have been placed around the pub. Around £105,000 of grant funding has been given by Power to Change, Swindon Borough Council and South Swindon Parish Council.

Daniel Rose, director of the trust, said: “The whole point of this project is to create a friendly, welcoming place for local residents and visitors. There’s not really anything in the immediate area for local residents.

“We have been keen for a long time to see a café in the Railway Village. It was a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.

“The Bakers Arms and the Cricketers were quite large sources of anti-social behaviour for local residents. Hopefully, this will be a really welcome relief from those issues."

“We’ve long been concerned about a number of pubs in the village. Residents were continually saying they had concerns they were causing a lot of nuisance. We were keen when this became available that we came up with a proposal.”

The café will open this morning, serving cooked breakfasts at £6.95 a time. This weekend, the volunteer-staffed café will serve Sunday Lunch to scores of customers. Daniel said they had almost run out of spaces for the Sunday roast, as enthusiasm was so great.

Kim Glanville, a chef of 15 years who has previously worked in kitchens at the Rolleston and Queens Tap, said she had already enjoyed the community aspect of the project. Wearing her chef’s whites, she recalled a community barbecue they held recently: “It was like having light, laughter and a heartbeat to the place.”

The Bakers Arms will open every day. Weekdays 8am-3pm, Saturdays, 9am-3pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm. For more, visit www.mechanics-trust.org.uk or email cafe@mechanics-trust.org.uk.