A Grade II listed pub that has been the focal point of a Buckinghamshire village for over 300 years could be turned into housing, villagers fear after it shut for the sixth time in as many years.
An action group has been set up to save The Swan in Stewkley near Leighton Buzzard and has started a campaign to prevent the beloved pub being sold to developers.
Its closure in March 2022 leaves just one pub left standing in a village that used to be home to as many as ten in years gone by.
The local Parish Council have started proceedings to re-register The Swan as an Asset of Community Value.
Should the Swan close, the village will be left with just one pub – The Carpenter’s Arms – serving a community of around 2,000 people. However, there will be no pubs serving any food at all.
The campaign group Save The Swan, inspired by similar community campaigns around the UK, recently conducted a survey with the results showing a huge demand in villagers wanting the pub saved.
Villager Matthew Day, who is leading the campaign, said:
“Save The Swan is an action group set up to see whether the village still wanted The Swan and what they could do about it. “In a matter of weeks, a village wide survey was conducted, with the help of a number of thirsty locals, and this has proved that the people of Stewkley want the pub to be opened.
“As well as offers of financial help, the survey has proved that more than enough people will frequent the pub again, indicating The Swan could be a flourishing business and community space once again.
“The next steps are to secure the future of the building as a pub. A big fear for many is that it will fall into the hands of developers and we will never see the building and amazing garden as a community pub again.
“We will be putting forward our action plan and then it will be up to the community, or a like-minded business or individual, to open this much loved and important pub.“This is the start of a real mobilisation of a village to make their community a better place, but much more help is needed.”
The Swan, previously The Old Swan, is a 17th Century pub that has a unique place in Stewkley and sits in the middle of the 2-mile-long high street. It was once the site of Stewkley’s largest brewery.
For more information, please email email@example.com or search Save The Swan on Facebook.