The landlords of a village pub have thanked the community that helped them win a coveted award.
Nigel and Daphne Leck took over the Merrie Lion in Fenny Compton in July of last year when the 17th Century building was in much need of repair.
Following a £350,000 refurbishment programme, the couple were awarded the Most Improved Pub award last Tuesday by the Warwickshire branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
Mr Leck said: “Winning this award is fantastic as we have put a lot of hard work into the pub and the support from the village has been really good.
“The pub before the transformation was horrible, people in the village were calling it the Morbid Lion it was that bad.
“But we have done a lot of work to fix up it, including the cellar and kitchen so it is a completely different building.”
The pub closed in 2010 and in 2011 plans were put forward to turn it into homes.
But villagers strongly opposed the proposals and the developer agreed to lease the building back as a pub to Mr and Mrs Leck.
The couple had lived in the village for 16 years and had always wanted to run a pub.
They offered to sell shares to villagers so they had a hand in ensuring the future success of the pub.
Mr and Mrs Leck undertook much of the restoration work needed to bring the building back up to scratch.
“The building is regarded as a hub for the community.
“It is a place where people can come and have a drink and chat with friends,” Mr Leck said.
“We beat some really tough competition from pubs in Coventry, Kenilworth, Southam and Rugby so it is fantastic news for the village, who have worked really hard to save it.”