LOCAL MP Michelle Donelan joined new licensees Michael and Kimara Yeomans at the Great Western in Corsham to pull an inaugural pint to mark the pub’s re-opening.

The celebration and ribbon-cutting followed a £314,000 refurbishment by its owner Star Pubs & Bars, part of Heineken UK.

She said:“The investment in the Great Western pub is wonderful news for Corsham and it was a privilege to officially open this fantastic venue.

“I receive many emails from constituents who highlight the value which pubs bring to local communities and I’m glad this investment ensures this pub has been secured for years to come.”

The pub, which has been closed for nine weeks, has doubled its capacity with the addition of a new dining conservatory and now offers traditional pub food and barista-style coffee for the first time.

Mr Yeomans said: “We’re thrilled by the transformation. You wouldn’t recognise it. It’s much brighter, and more comfortable and welcoming now.”

Local resident and captain of one of the pub’s darts team, Keith Dawdry, said: “In the past The Great Western had no heating and so we had to play in jumpers.

“What I’ve seen of it so far, it will be a 100 per cent improvement on before. People didn’t go to the pub because it wasn’t comfortable or a place you wanted to spend any time.

“With pubs closing all around, it’s very important to have a pub like this open for the community. It is on the edge of two large estates so is in walking distance for most people.

“We look forward to going back to the place we have played for the last five years. I wish Michael and Kimara the best of luck from all the darts teams.”

Neil Convery, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars, who was also at the opening said: “It’s been a positive week for local pub goers.

“With Wiltshire having a high number of pub closures, it’s good to see The Great Western benefit from significant investment and to have an experienced, enthusiastic couple like Michael and Kimara taking it forward.

“At Heineken and Star Pubs & Bars we’re passionate about the great British pub, keeping them thriving.

“So, we’re delighted the chancellor has recognised the vital roles pubs play in their communities across the country by freezing beer and cider duty and cutting business rates. Two very good reasons to raise a pint!”

The Great Western will show live sports and host regular live entertainment at least monthly and from January will be introducing a weekly pub quiz.