MEL Stride, MP for Central Devon, paid a special visit to the Drewe Arms community pub at Drewsteignton on Friday, April 26, in celebration of its doors reopening. 

When the Drewe Arms closed in 2022, a group of locals came together to form a community benefit society in the hope of purchasing the pub. 

The mission was a success and more than 600 people became shareholders, raising enough money for the pub to be bought and refurbished.

The refurbishment was no easy task and took a number of months, with more volunteers offering their support to tidy, scrub, and clear the building.

The pub’s doors reopened last month with a party which attracted hundreds of supporters, and there has been heavy footfall since. 

However, despite its transformation, problems still exist with the fabric of the ancient building and so the Drewe Arms is preparing to submit an application to the Community Ownership Fund. 

He said: “It was great to see the team again, and to find the pub in such good hands and doing so well. I have written in support of the funding bid, which I hope will see further investment into this fantastic community asset.”

Jane Martin, Director of the Drewsteignton Community Society Limited, said: “Mel’s visit and support are very much appreciated. The villagers and surrounding residents are filling the pub most days, and we are grateful to Mel for taking the time to stop by and witness this, as well as to understand some of the challenges that we still face.”