A VILLAGE’S only pub is set to reopen and be restored to its former glory.

The Swan pub in School Road, Little Totham, a former national pub of the year, closed unexpectedly in June this year.

A 50-strong group of villagers formed Friends of the Swan to campaign for it to stay as a pub.

They are celebrating after it was sold to Phil Cornell, who plans return the pub to its award-winning glory days.

Campaigner Jean Hopkins, of Post Office Lane, Little Totham, said: “Everybody is delighted and we wish Phil lots of luck.

“I am sure it will be hard work but it will be worth it because everyone is backing him.”

The pub won Campaign for Real Ale’s regional awards in the Dengie and East Anglia, and won the national award twice.

Chris Harvey, pub liaison officer for Maldon and Dengie Camra, said: “Phil plans to open the pub in December, which is brilliant news for the village.

“He is going to have more of an emphasis on food and wants to get a good range of beer. He is full of enthusiasm.”