The Churchill Arms in West Lavington has joined a national campaign being waged by the Campaign for Real Ale to encourage more people to use their local as a meeting place.

Pubs and the Economy is designed to promote pubs at their quietest time of the year. Among the pubs in the South West who have signed up to it is the Churchill Arms, run by Gary Guinness.

Mr Guinness said: “I left the Navy last January and bought the tenancy from Wadworth in March and since then the learning curve has been huge – long hours and lots of logistics – but in the end seeing happy people at the bar is almost priceless.”

Mike Benner, CAMRA’s chief executive, said: “Pubs play an important part in the UK economy and need to be protected and supported.

“The Pubs and the Economy campaign does not only call on people to use their locals in January, but also highlights the importance of the pub industry overall and encourages people to support CAMRA’s call for a freeze in beer duty in the 2014 budget.

“This support could play an important role in saving many British pubs.”