IT is good news indeed that a pub in the countryside near Malvern has reopened after a three-year closure

– news that we hear all to rarely.

The rebirth of the Plough and Harrow on Guarlford Road owes much to councillor Tom Wells, who earlier this year persuaded colleagues at Malvern Hills District Council not to back a plan to convert the disused pub into housing.

This gave pub chain Brunning and Price the chance it needed to unveil its plans for the Plough and Harrow, which included a substantial investment in extensive building work to bring out the best in the building.

No doubt a company like that has a lot of experience in knowing which premises are likely to make viable pubs, and the homework it doubtless did will have made it clear that the big investment will be justified.

But there are many more pubs across the country that have closed, and which had no chance of attracting any sort of similar saviour. It is often the traditional street-corner boozers that suffer this fate.

There are a number of reasons for that, including social changes like the inexorable rise of home-based entertainment, which started with the rise of TV in the 1950, and more recently, the phenomenal rise of the internet, which brings with it a myriad of possibilities.

Again, surveys carried out over the last few years show that, contrary to the impression given by certain media panics, young people are drinking less, and in some cases, shunning alcohol altogether.

This would go some way to explaining why it is commercially worthwhile to save a country inn like the Plough and Harrow, which, it is clear, will be a largely food-led business, whereas the Rover’s

Return-style boozers have much less chance of being rescued.

Times change, habits change, and societies change, and this is one example of this process in action.

Another can be seen on the nation’s high streets, which are undergoing pressure from the tempting alternatives offered over the internet.

These changes in response to technological innovation are going to happen, but thought will be needed on how to manage the transition as smoothly as possible and with as little harm as possible.

This is something that businesses and politicians will have to work out together.