Cotehill is a small village perched on the top of a hill and just off the main A6 route. It is 3 miles south east from junction 42 off the M6 motorway, 8 miles south east of Carlisle city centre and 12 miles north of Penrith.
Situated in the heart of Cotehill, the Greyhound Inn is run by Julie Ingleby and Alistair Musgrave. They serve fresh, home cooked food with regularly changing specials and there is a separate games room with pool, darts and TV. They run a regular quiz, play your cards right and bingo nights on a Sunday once a month and usually have some live music on monthly.
When the couple heard that the local shop was to close, Julie and Alistair decided to see what could be done and following discussions with their regulars – and particularly her attendees of their regular lunch club – they decided to create a shop at the pub to provide essential items and also to cater for summer visitors to the area who also had relied on the local shop.
The reduction in bus services to the village to just one a day meant many, particularly the young and old with no access to a car, were isolated in the village.
It was decided to create a shop at the side of the pub so it could be easily accessed from the pub’s kitchen whilst sharing the storage area between both areas. Julie and Alistair contacted Pub is The Hub and were able to seek support, advice and a small grant from the Community Services Fund. In addition they invested over £4,000 of their own money as well as working with local businesses, producers, suppliers and tradespeople who supplied goods, materials, equipment and time to help put the shop on the ground.
The pub is even more at the heart of the village, with more people from the village and the surrounding hamlets able to use the shop and pub. With Julie and Alistair involving everyone locally they have some new customers for the pub and those who actively supported the project have a greater loyalty to the Greyhound.
It has also provided an opportunity for some local suppliers to market their goods and created opportunities for people to volunteer to run the shop and has created another meeting place for residents to help remove the feeling of isolation from the closure of the original shop and other services from the village.
At the official opening event for the shop in July, a local resident was asked to be the VIP for the day. Mary Stubbs was one of the pub’s oldest customers (at 95 years of age). As a result, regional TV and BBC local radio attended and supported the launch with extensive media coverage, all wanting to chat to Mary.
LESSONS TO LEARN:
The community was motivated to support the creation of the shop and the support of others meant the financial burden was not great, with goods services and time being given by villagers and suppliers.
The licensees have listened to the village who obviously missed the shop and the loss of public transport. It has to be clearly recognised the drive, energy and focus Julie and Alistair have shown to create the shop people wanted.
Sometimes the local and regional media love a great people story: On this occasion they loved that the pub’s oldest customer still visited the pub a couple of times a week and would also benefit from the new shop.
|Grant from the Community Services Fund||£3,000|
|Private investment by licensee||£4,550|
|Total Project Cost||£7,550|