Pubs across Oxfordshire are now seeking new tenants, according to the Campaign for Real Ale.

Dave Richardson, of Oxford CAMRA, said there were some positive signs at lots of pubs in Oxford.

But he added the branch has also noticed a large number of pubs looking for new tenants, or up for sale.

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The White Horse in Broad Street has been praised for its wide range of real ales.

Oxford CAMRA spokesman Dave Richardson said: “This famous old pub in the centre of Oxford has had an increasing range of real ale since new tenants took over last October. The choice at the beginning of September included Loose Cannon Abingdon Bridge, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Dark Star Hophead, Adnams Ghost Ship and Black Sheep Bitter, plus real cider Rosie’s Pig. The pub is now run by Tom Reynolds and Henry Cullen who also operate the Library on Cowley Road, and experienced manageress at the White Horse is Cat Duerr.

“The pub - one of the smallest in Oxford - has expanded capacity with the addition of pavement seating in Broad Street.”

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Kriss Sprules, bar manager of The Plough at 38 - formerly at the Crown, Eagle and Child, Chequers and Grapes - has also been praised for expanding the drinks range since he took over in June.

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While CAMRA has praised improvements at some pubs it has also expressed concern following the closure of The Red Lion in Yarnton last month.

Mr Richardson added: “While everyone would sympathise with the landlady forced to give up at the end of her tenancy due to falling custom and escalating costs, the closure is symptomatic of the plight facing many pubs.”

The Red Lion is one of six pubs in the area that Admiral is seeking new tenants for, the others being the Berkshire in Abingdon Road, Oxford; the Golden Ball, in Littlemore; the Crown, in Marcham; the Crown, in Stadhampton; and the Red Lion, in Eynsham. Some of these are former Hawthorn Leisure properties, Hawthorn having been taken over by Admiral.

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Other big pub companies are advertising vacancies. Punch Taverns is looking for people to run the Red Lion in Islip, King Alfred’s Head in Wantage and the Three Horseshoes in Thame. Heineken-owned Star Pubs and Bars is looking to re-let the Ampleforth in Risinghurst, Oxford (still being run by a Community-Owned company), the New Inn in Witney, the Woodman in North Leigh (near Witney) and the Royal Sun in Begbroke, on the A44 near Oxford.

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Pubs for sale outright - listed on the Daltons Business portal - include the White Lion in Fewcott, near Bicester.

Fleurets also lists the Chequers in Witney; the Bluebell in Blewbury, near Didcot; and the Pickled Ploughman in Adderbury, near Banbury.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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