Hopes pub will be focal point again

Action group members outside of the White Hart in 2013

Action group members outside of the White Hart in 2013 - Credit: Archant

A ‘MUCH-LOVED’ pub considered to be the heart of a village community is set to reopen this summer - some 18 months after it was closed much to the dismay of residents.

The White Hart in Weston-in-Gordano has been closed since August 2013 when its landlords decided to cease trading. At the time, its owner, Enterprise Inns said it hoped the pub would resume trading ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

However, since then residents have been left with no public meeting point in their village.

It is now hoped the popular watering hole will open again in June after Enterprise Inns announced plans to invest £200,000 refurbishing the venue.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Having had discussions with residents of the village regarding their local pub we recognised that the White Hart was much loved and would get their support.

“Over the past 18 months and in a bid to get the White Hart open sooner, we have actively marketed the site through the local branch of national agents who specialise in the sector. Whilst we did receive an earlier offer from a local businessman to purchase the freehold, our preference was to keep the site in our estate.

“We are anticipating that work will be completed over the coming months and plan to reopen the White Hart in June which will enable the pub to once again become a focal point of the village.

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“We hope that as many local people as possible visit the White Hart to welcome the new publican as their support for the village pub will enable it to become a thriving part of the local community.”

After the pub was closed, a village action group was successful at getting it listed as a community asset, meaning the community would be given a chance to buy it if put up for sale. However, despite £200,000 being pledged toward buying the site this did not come about.

Action group chairman Peter Yeates-Round said: “We are concerned that this important village asset has stood empty for 18 months now.

“In that time, several promises of re-opening have been made but nothing has come of them.

“We welcome this present scheme and look forward to seeing work commence in the near future.”