Calls to get much-loved Cotswold pub devastated by fire reopened

There are calls to get a much-loved 17th-century pub reopened in the Cotswolds. The Churchill Arms in Paxford was devastated by a fire back in March 2022.

The previously beautiful grade II-listed has become an eyesore according to residents as it is currently covered in scaffolding and fluttering plastic which is an eyesore and noise nuisance in an otherwise picturesque village. Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown visited the pub last month and convened a last-minute meeting at the village hall with around 20 concerned villagers attending, which for 24 hours’ notice highlighted the local concern about the lack of certainty over the pub's future.

At the meeting, the discussion included the fact that the village used to have two shops, post office facilities, and two working farms, so if the pub were not to reopen this would have a huge impact on the village.

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Geoffrey Bolam, deputy chair of Paxford village hall committee, speaking on behalf of concerned villagers: “A beloved Cotswolds landmark, the 17th-century Churchill Arms in Paxford, has remained closed for over two years after a devastating fire in March 2022.

“Once a vibrant hub for locals and visitors, the pub's absence leaves a gaping hole in the community's heart. Despite planning permission for the restoration being granted more than six months ago, no work has begun and villagers eagerly await news.

Fire crews assessing the damage at the Churchill Arms in Paxton
Fire crews assessing the damage at the Churchill Arms in Paxton -Credit:Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service

“We would urge the owners of the Churchill Arms, AEW Global, a large property investment portfolio, to be more mindful of the impact this prolonged closure is having on our community and surrounding businesses, and to be more communicative about progress on the restoration of our pub.

“We very much appreciate the support of our MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, in helping us draw attention to this issue. Restoring the Churchill Arms isn't just about fixing a building. It's about restoring the heart of our community!”

Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown visited the Churchill Arms last month and convened a last-minute meeting at the village hall with around 20 concerned villagers attending, which for 24 hours’ notice highlighted the local concern about the lack of certainty over the pub's future.
Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown visited the Churchill Arms last month and convened a last-minute meeting at the village hall with around 20 concerned villagers attending, which for 24 hours’ notice highlighted the local concern about the lack of certainty over the pub's future. -Credit:Submitted

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said: "The villagers of Paxford have my full support in making sure that hugely valuable community asset is reopened and preserved for future generations.

“Pubs are part of the glue that binds communities so I think it vital that this pub reopens and that the owners will communicate their intentions to provide some clarity and put villagers' minds at ease. I am happy to do whatever I can to help residents of Paxford towards this aim."