THE owners of a closed Eldene pub reassured residents that they are committed to finding a new landlord to take over and restore it to its former glory.

Heineken-owned company Star Pubs and Bars shut The Crumpled Horn after its landlords decided to quit earlier this year. This led to concerns from Swindon and North Wiltshire CAMRA secretary John Stooke, amongst others, who worried that the pub may have closed its doors for good.

The owners responded to Mr Stooke by emphasising a planned £7 million investment made for south west pubs this year in a new statement.

Star Pubs and Bars’ regional operations director for the south west Neil Convery told the Adver: “I wanted to reassure readers that we are committed to helping the great British pub flourish.

“Like local residents, we very much want The Crumpled Horn, a busy and popular community local, to open again as soon as possible, and are actively looking for new licensees to take it on.

“Our role isn’t to manage decline, it’s to help pubs thrive, not to close them, but to open them. The only thing holding us back with doing so is finding the right person for the pub.

“So, please do spread the word, and let us know if you or anyone you know with experience is interested in opening the doors of The Crumpled Horn again and putting it back at the heart of the community.

“Anyone interested in running the Crumpled Horn should call 08085 949596 .“

Mr Stooke hopes to push for the Nythe, Liden and Eldene parish council to make the Grade 2 listed pub a protected community asset because of its historic background and to help ensure that it is never demolished.

He said: “Every day in this country, 14 pubs close their doors forever and are either converted into boxy flats with the requisite terrace on the car park or demolished altogether like the Rodbourne Arms, the Queensfield, the Worthington, the Wheatsheaf and the Cock Robin.

“The one thing that unites all of these pubs is that they are owned by vast property companies.

"These large companies, often owned or financed from overseas, buy and sell our heritage without a thought for tradition or the livelihoods and often the dreams of the people who daily strive to try to make these fantastic assets a success.

“I’ve no clue what Heineken paid for the Crumpled Horn but if the freehold was sold to a serious independent landlord at anywhere near that value, as a pub, that would virtually guarantee its survival for all time

Mr Convery mentioned another Wiltshire pub that Star Pubs and Bars had invested in as an example of its apparent dedication to helping pubs thrive.

He added: “A nearby example is The Great Western in Corsham. At the end of last year, we invested £314k in bringing the pub up to date and creating more space to meet the changing needs of local residents.

"This coupled with the hard work of new licensees, Michael & Kimara Yeomans means today it is flourishing, getting 4 out of 5 on Trip Advisor. It’s a great village pub and serves locally brewed Wadworth 6x as well as rotational guest ales and our beers. I’m delighted to say that it has just experienced its best weekend trade since reopening in November.”

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