Jenna Hale and Paul Jefferies have been at the pub for two and a half years. They are very keen to establish the Codrington Arms as a community hub providing essential community services which would otherwise have been lost.
Yate village in South Gloucestershire has been without a post office and shop since the North Road Post Office closed in May 2015 due to the retirement of the previous post mistress and the Post Office had approached Jenna and Paul to see if they would be interested in taking it on.
With two years at the pub under their belt building up the business, the entrepreneurial couple consulted with the rural pubs organisation Pub is The Hub and they decided to take the plunge. Whilst in discussions with Reg Clarke, the Pub is The Hub advisor for the South West region, the couple discovered that they would be able to apply for a grant of £1,500 from the organisation’s Community Services Fund to help towards the cost of converting the pub’s disused barn.
The grant from Pub is The Hub has helped to pay towards the cost of the conversion along with support from three other local businesses: Kent Plastics who supplied the front door; South West Interiors who supplied some of the shop fittings; and All Signs who supplied the signage.
Opening times are from 8am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday; 9.30am -12.30pm on Saturday and 10am to 2pm Sunday and it is being staffed by two new employees. In addition to the usual Post Office services, the shop serves convenience items, newspapers and locally supplied goods such as eggs from Patch Elm Farm, bread from Cottage Bakery and meat from Buxton Butchers of Winterbourne.
Outcomes so far:
The Post Office and shop were opened on 22nd October 2016 and are already proving popular with locals. Not only does this give people access to essential services but it also provides an opportunity for elderly residents to socialise with other villagers thereby tackling rural isolation.
Lessons to Learn:
Projects can take much longer than anticipated to come to fruition, particularly when dealing with large organisations like the Post Office which must go through their own very rigorous processes.
Good licensees like Jenner and Paul will keep their resolve as they can see the obvious benefits to the community.
|Total Project Costs||£4,300|
|Contribution from (eg Post Office)||£2,300|
|Contribution from Licensee||£500|
|CSF Grant (if applicable)||£1,500|
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