ASHTON Keynes Parish Council has successfully managed to register the only pub in the village as a community asset to help secure its future.

The decision to register the White Hart pub was passed at the Malmesbury Area Board meeting in Crudwell last week – meaning that the community has six months to put together a bid to buy it if is ever put up for sale.

Now that the pub has been registered, owners Enterprise Inns would also have to let the parish council know if they intend to sell the pub or grant a lease of more than 25 years.

Dave Wingrove, the chairman of Ashton Keynes Parish Council explained the application was made to try to ensure the future of the pub following the closure of two other pubs in the village.

“The Plough closed in 1999 and The Horse and Jockey closed 18 months ago which left us with one pub,” he told the Standard.

Mr Wingrove said: “We are very happy with the way the White Hart is being run at the moment it is a great pub and there is no problem at all.

“It is purely a long term insurance policy in case the worst should happen.”

Three years ago last March, three couples from Ashton Keynes, Jon and Jayne Hughes, Guy and Jan Collister and Mike and Glenys Bailey, bought the lease of the pub from Enterprise Inns, because they felt that residents of the village needed a good meeting point.

Since they took over the pub has become increasingly popular, developing a good reputation in the area for food and hosting a number of village activities such as the golden years club and made in ashton exhibitions.

It is also used by the AK Ukulele band, which rehearses in the back room every week, and regular coffee mornings are held there for local young mothers.

In July the pub reopened after refurbishment and it is now run by a manager who has lived in the village for most of his life.