A CAMPAIGN to reopen the The Cross Keys pub in Great Bedwyn is not a lost cause says Rob Braybrook of The Bedwyn Pub Company.

"All we want is to be able to talk to the current owner," he said, "but the owner has not replied. We want it to become a social hub and pub for the village."

The pub company is an action group and was founded by a group of residents in 2017 to buy the property. Mr Braybrook said there was strong support in the village for the idea.

However, the owner Ian McIvor is not interested as the property is now split into a residential home and a business at the front.

Mr McIvor said: "Following advice and guidance from Wiltshire Council this scheme creates an attractive new residence from disused outbuildings."

"It's only two bedrooms so will be very affordable. The Council previously supported the conversion of the bakery and the British Legion so appreciate the benefits of creating new homes from redundant buildings."

He said the pub closed in 2016 due to a lack of trade and in 2017 it changed use from a pub to a shop "in line with Wiltshire Council's planning guidelines for the reuse of redundant pubs".

Mr Braybrook said: "It is not a lost cause, but we have a battle on our hands which we may not win, but there's no point in accepting defeat at an early stage."

In July 2017 the former pub was divided into 16 High Street (the front called The Art House) and 39 Farm Lane (the back). No buyer was found for 16 High Street (currently called The Art House) which will be auctioned by Savills in April.

The Cross Keys was acquired by Portella in 2014, from Punch Taverns after it had closed. It was re-let was open for two years before closing again. Mr Braybrook said the pub had been at the centre of village life for 200 years.