Harlton is an ancient village seven miles south west of Cambridge and can be found in the Domesday Book. The village was an important source of mining for many centuries. The pits to the south east of the village were used to mine the clunch (chalky limestone rock) that was used to build Cambridge Castle in 1295. Nowadays Harlton is a small but thriving community of around 300 people living in just over 100 houses.
The Hare and Hounds is a thatched Grade II listed property that unfortunately closed in 2016, so the locals formed a steering committee and an action group ‘Help The Hare And Hounds’.
Villagers and the wider community all pledged their support to raise enough capital to secure the purchase of the pub. Initially, the owners refused to negotiate, and after many months of discussions a compromise was reached and the Hare and Hounds was successfully acquired by the community and The Harlton Pub Community Interest Company took possession of the freehold in September 2017.
The small village of Harlton had little in the way of community facilities so the pub’s Community Committee made contact with Terry Stork, the regional advisor for Pub is The Hub, to discuss possible projects – and it was decided to create a community cinema. This would also provide a much-needed meeting point for groups who would not usually visit the pub, such as older inhabitants and children. The main aim is to provide a service above and beyond those of a pub which will appeal to a much wider section of the community.
The nearest cinema is 8 miles away and to make it even more attractive there is no charge for pub users. Cinema-goers can order freshly prepared snacks to eat while watching their favourite films.
Since the launch in August 2018, the cinema is proving very successful, with matinees planned in the summer months for children accompanied by adults and some retro films are being shown for dementia sufferers to complement dementia-friendly lunches. Feedback so far indicates that there are more customers coming in the evenings that had attended the family afternoon shows.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- A community needs the vision and determination to make a difference by offering these facilities helping all ages to socialise.
- Creating an additional service like this demonstrates how useful the pub can be within a community beyond that of the usual food, drink and meeting place.
- Additional services do not have to cost a lot of money.
|Total Project Cost||£3,000|
|Grant from Pub is The Hub Community Services Fund||£2,000|