Community pub saved by locals named CAMRA Pub of the Year

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

The George & Dragon: a "true community asset"
The George & Dragon: a "true community asset"

Related tags Public house

A community pub saved from closure by locals has been named as the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) National Pub of the Year. 

The George & Dragon, Hudswell, Yorkshire, closed in 2008 but reopened in 2010 after village residents formed a pub group, Hudswell Community Pub Ltd, and bought the site.

Stu Miller, manager at the George & Dragon, said: “Since we took over in 2014, we’ve strived to achieve our vision for the pub – a small, friendly Dales village pub serving first-rate beers and wholesome food.

“To be appreciated for these goals by our customers and CAMRA is extremely satisfying and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“[The award] shows that hard work, good beer and the support of the community can help you achieve goals that seemed impossible only a short while ago.”

Runner ups named

The Salutation Inn in Ham, Gloucestershire, the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and the Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire, were named as runner-ups.

The George & Dragon will be presented the award by CAMRA national executive representative Ken Davies at a special ceremony today (3 March).

The pub, as well as serving beer and food, houses the village library, a local shop staffed by volunteers, community allotments and offers its customers free internet access.

CAMRA said it was particularly impressed with the George & Dragon’s “warm and welcoming atmosphere and strong community ethos”, as well as the landlord’s passion for great beer and the pub’s extended range of real ales and cider.

'Resurrected' pub

Pub of the Year finalists co-ordinator Paul Ainsworth said: “The George & Dragon is a great example of how a pub has been resurrected as a true community asset.

“To go from closed doors to winning national Pub of the Year in just a few short years is a fantastic achievement for any pub – and all the more impressive for one that is co-operatively owned.

“The story of the George & Dragon goes to show that, in the right hands, a closed pub can become viable and successful.

“We are very impressed with the work the community group has undertaken to save its local and hope that other communities are encouraged by the example when faced with an ongoing battle to save their local.”

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