Dog Inn, Belthorn, Lancashire

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The Dog Inn closed its doors in late 2014 and was put up for sale by auction in March 2015. The village came together in spring 2015 after a highly motivated group of villagers had the idea of buying and taking over the pub. They successfully had the pub listed as an Asset of Community Interest but were unsuccessful in agreeing a deal with the then current owners and the pub was sold prior to auction to a local developer.

Undaunted the Group backed by the village negotiated a deal with the new owners and set up a Community Benefit Society with the aim to raise £180,000.00. In just over 2 months they were able to exchange contracts and completed the purchase on the 2nd September 2015. After a period of repair and refurbishment by mainly local volunteers the pub reopened on the 15th November which is now sustainable and provides employment for 4 people. This is a major success for the village which in recent years has lost its local shop and Post Office.

Refurbishment continues to the restaurant and kitchens with dedicated band of volunteers hoping to complete it by mid 2017.

At the beginning when consulting with village residents numerous other services were identified that the pub could provide, meeting / community rooms, community garden and allotments on the field behind the pub, shop and a place to meet during the day.

Outcomes so far:

 The idea of the coffee shop was therefore taken up very simply at first but now a small kitchen area has been formed to provide hot drinks, pastries and snacks during the afternoon and is well used by villagers and those on the school run. It is staffed and operated by 13 volunteers currently and they also run a basic provisions store.

Pub is The Hub has helped the village and the group from the very start with advice and support and in particularly the Coffee shop and store through a grant of £4,000 from the Community Services Fund.

Lessons to Learn:

  1. Engaging with the local community and taking on board their suggestions to broaden the appeal of the pub.
  2. Making the pub the centre of village life again by diversifying the services offered from the pub
  3. Creating local Jobs
  4. Keeping things simple and being realistic in your ambition
Project Costs:
Total Project Costs £10,500
Contribution from  Other Sources £6,500
CSF Grant (if applicable) £4,000