The George and Dragon at Hudswell: Yorkshire's first community-run pub seeks new tenant after landlord Stuart Miller leaves

The first community-run pub in Yorkshire is seeking a new licensee to take on the business.

The George and Dragon in Hudswell, near Richmond, was taken over by villagers in 2010 after it has been closed for two years.

Since 2014, they have leased the day-to-day operation of the pub to tenants Stuart and Melissa Miller, who are now leaving to focus on their brewery venture.

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Although he grew up near York, Mr Miller had never lived in the Dales or managed a pub before and was working as an IT consultant in London when he applied for the job.

Stuart Miller is leaving The George and Dragon in Hudswell

But the Hudswell Pub Company were impressed with his vision for developing the business and offered him the licence.

He moved up with his Canadian wife, an accountant who took a position at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes.

Hudswell Community Pub Company secretary Martin Booth said: "The board of directors of Hudswell Community Pub were shocked last week when Stuart Miller informed them that he would be resigning the tenancy in the summer. Stuart took on the role at The George and Dragon in July 2014 and has built up the reputation of the pub for fine ales and good home cooked food.

"The George and Dragon has been in community ownership for the past 12 years. The pub closed in 2008 and was bought and renovated by the local community in Hudswell and their supporters in 2010. It was then one of only a handful of community pubs in the country, and there are now well over 100, including several in nearby villages. The first tenants, Jackie and Margaret Stubbs, created a warm and welcoming atmosphere, but after four successful years had to give up the tenancy due to Jackie’s ill health.

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"Stuart Miller transformed the business with his passion of real ales and dedication to quality, good value food. He soon began to get regional and national recognition. The summit of this success came in 2016, when the pub was given the accolade of national pub of the year by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

"This was followed in 2017 by a visit from Prince Charles and before and since these highlights the pub has continued to gain regional awards for its food and drink. Stuart established the annual beer festival, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

"During the pandemic lockdowns when the pub was forced to close its doors, Stuart joined forces with the local community who supplied fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and takeaway beer to the village from the Little Shop located in the pub.

"Two years ago Stuart and his wife Melissa bought the old farmhouse next door to the pub, with the intention of developing some of the outbuildings into a brewery to make Stuart’s own brand of real ales.

“We are very grateful to Stuart for all his hard work in building up the business at The George and Dragon. It is nationally recognised as a fine local pub, and we are very proud of that. He has been able to combine an excellent food and drink offer which has attracted visitors to the pub and greatly increased the trade, whilst continuing to be a local village pub where villagers always feel at home. We now need to find someone who can continue this success, but also put their own stamp on it."

Anyone interested in the tenancy can contact Mr Booth on 07903872635 or [email protected]