WANTAGE is brimming with vitality after seeing more than £1m invested in pubs and bars.

Landlords say the town is becoming a destination for drinkers after major revamps at the Shoulder of Mutton and The Bear Hotel.

They also hope late-night venue Shush, which opened last month, will bring more people to the town.

It comes as other parts of Oxfordshire are hit by pub closures, including the Nag’s Head in Abingdon, and the Friar and Fox and Hounds in Oxford, which Tesco wants to turn into stores.

Peter Fowler, landlord at the Shoulder of Mutton in Wallingford Street, has spent about £250,000 since taking over last October and hopes to invest £100,000 more. He also plans to make his own beer.

He said: “There is a tremendous range of venues in Wantage. It’s like an ongoing beer festival.”

The Shoulder of Mutton will host a beer festival on Saturday, May 21, when the Scots Guards, who have been given the Freedom of the town, march through Wantage.