A Wiltshire pub is bucking the trend of pubs shutting down across the country by reopening tonight.

The Rising Sun at Bradford on Avon is opening its doors at 5pm tonight (Friday, September 22) having been completely redecorated inside and its beer garden improved.

The reopening will delight 140 locals who signed a petition to keep it open and comes ten months after it was closed by the Wellington pub company chain.

New owner Josh Noble has spent around £100,000 revamping the Winsley Road pub ready for the reopening.

He said: “It’s been quite a long road getting it all ready but I’m really excited to get everyone back in. We hope you love it as much as we do!”

Wiltshire Times: The Rising Sun owner Josh Noble (right) with pub manager Lee Turner (left). Photo: Trevor Porter The Rising Sun owner Josh Noble (right) with pub manager Lee Turner (left). Photo: Trevor Porter (Image: Trevor Porter)

Locals feared the pub would shut for good when it was put up for sale on the open market by the Wellington pub company and Criterion Asset Management with a price tag of £330,000.

The Rising Sun was advertised as “having potential for alternative use” and many regulars feared it would be converted into a residential property.

The reopening of ‘The Rising’ comes as pubs are shutting down at a rate of two every day across England and Wales.

 The number of pub closures surged by 50 per cent in three months, according to stark new figures show from the Altus Group.

It means a total of 383 pubs were demolished or converted for other uses such as homes, offices or even day nurseries during the first half of this year.

That’s close to the total of 386 closures seen in 2022, the Altus Group says, as society changes and locals switch to other forms of leisure entertainment.

Data from the commercial real estate intelligence firm shows the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 39,404 at the end of the second quarter of 2023 to June 30, down 230 compared with 39,634 on March 31.

In the South West, 35 pubs closed their doors for good in the first six months of this year, from January 1 to June 30.

That compares with 30 in the South East, 46 in London, 34 in the East of England, 31 in the West Midlands, 41 in the East Midlands, 46 in the North West, 43 in Yorkshire and The Humber, 25 in the North East, and 52 in Wales.