BREWERS Greene King have pledged to reopen an East Oxford pub which closed after its landlord left.

The James Street Tavern, off Cowley Road, shut in March amid a series of county closures by the brewer and other pub firms.

Greene King spokesman Elaine Beckett said: “We are now in the process of signing a long-term agreement with a new licensee.

“We hope that the James Street Tavern will reopen later this month and look forward to welcoming customers old and new to the pub.”

Tony Goulding, pubs officer for Oxford branch of Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, said he was relieved to hear that the pub would be reopening.

He added: “There were hardly any pub closures in Oxford for quite a while but then we got a couple in a row and I was concerned that it would be the start of a bad run for the city.

“The pub shut very suddenly and it could have been the case of someone not being able to make any money out of it.

“The James Street Tavern has probably been there for about 100 years so it would have been a great shame if it closed for good.”

The closure follows the brewery’s decision to shut the Old Bookbinders Arms pub in Victor Street, Jericho, last month.

Meanwhile, the Wagon and Horses pub, on the A415 at Culham near Abingdon, has also closed following the departure of its temporary landlord.

Marc Blackford, of National Licensed Property Agents, which is managing the site for Midlands-based Blackrock Properties, said the pub was owned by the Morland family. He added: “A temporary landlord was drafted in earlier this year, but the pub ceased trading on Monday.

“The previous landlord left earlier this year to go to Thailand.

“It’s now up to the Morland family to decide what to do next with the pub, but it will remain closed until further notice.

“I believe the owners will now try to find a new licensee to reopen the pub.”

However, defying the trend, in Old Marston, The Red Lion pub is due to reopen today, run by Diana and Stewart Berry, following a £75,000 refurbishment over the past three weeks.

But Marston pubs to have closed in the past decade include The Cavalier, the Friar, and The Bricklayers Arms.

In March, Greene King confirmed the closure of the Waterwitch pub in Didcot so that it could be demolished to make way for new homes. The pub in Cockcroft Road is being replaced with a terrace of eight homes on the site.

In April, drinkers were stunned when David Cameron popped into their newly reopened pub to wish them all the best.

The Prime Minister and Witney MP visited the launch party of The Fox in Leafield, near Witney, which reopened with the help of a Facebook campaign by residents.