WANTAGE landlord Peter Fowler has invested £250,000 in The Shoulder of Mutton since he took over two years ago.

And the Wallingford Street pub won White Horse Camra’s pub of the year in April.

Mr Fowler, who leases the pub from Admiral Taverns, said he plans to spend another £100,000 to create a brewery and guest rooms.

He said: “I tried to turn the pub around from a tough old dive to a proper public house, where you could have families.

“Good pubs will survive and the reason they will survive is because people are social beasts and they do like to relax with people outside the family.

“The pubs with a social community are the pubs that are surviving through it all.”

In Abingdon, riverside pub the Nags Head will soon reopen. It has been closed for more than 18 months after the former landlord quit, blaming high rent and poor winter trade.

But Dushan Salwathura,, above, landlord of the Broad Face, also in Bridge Street, has taken on the lease and hopes to have the pub open by October after a £80,000 facelift.

Mr Salwathura said: “It’s a great location and it has a massive potential.”

The new landlord said the deal with the Spirit pub company was finalised last week.

He said he would probably have to invest a further £250,000 in the pub.