York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire pub saved by villagers wins top award

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Media captionStu Miller from the George and Dragon explains how the pub was saved by villagers

A country pub saved from closure after villagers stepped in to buy it has been named national pub of the year.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has given the award to the George & Dragon at Hudswell, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The pub, the village's only community facility, closed in 2008.

It reopened in 2010 after residents formed the Hudswell Community Pub Ltd group and raised £200,000 to buy the building and land.

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Image caption The pub was bought by villagers after it closed
Image copyright PA
Image caption Customers at the George and Dragon also use it as a village library, local shop and community allotments

The group was helped by the Plunkett Foundation which supports community co-operatives in rural areas.

Camra said the George & Dragon had a warm and welcoming atmosphere and a strong community ethos.

The pub includes a small shop, library, community allotments and free internet access.

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Image caption Landlord Stuart Miller and his wife Melissa said good beer and community support helped turn the pub's fortunes around

Paul Ainsworth, from Camra, said: "The George & Dragon is a great example of how a pub has been resurrected as a true community asset."

The pub's current manager, Stu Miller, said he was thrilled to receive the award.

"It 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," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Camra said the pub has a warm and welcoming atmosphere

Runners up in the UK-wide competition were the Salutation Inn in Ham, Gloucestershire, the Stanford Arms in Lowestoft, Norfolk, and the Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire.

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