Polgooth Inn, Polgooth, Cornwall

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The former mining village of Polgooth is set in a beautiful rural valley, two miles south of St Austell and 5 miles north of Mevagissey and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Historical records of mining in Polgooth go back to 1593, and by the eighteenth century the Polgooth mine was the richest mine in the UK, said by some to be ‘the greatest tin mine in the world’.

The Polgooth Inn is a classic sixteenth century Cornish village pub run by Alex and Tanya Williams. The couple were the British Institute of Innkeeping’s Licensees of the Year 2018 and they have been at the helm since 2010.

Alex and Tanya are always looking for ways to improve what they do and their local trade is important to them so the community is at the forefront of many day-to-day decisions about the pub.

Project Summary: 

During the Covid-19 shut down in the spring, Alex and Tanya decided to create a digital hub in the pub to provide access for local people who don’t have the facilities at home.

They have situated the digital hub at an underused end of the bar. They have improved the WiFi, and added laptops, a smart TV and a printer on some new tables, all expertly installed.

Outcomes so far:

As Covid-19 rules start to ease, the intention is to be able to offer these new facilities to local groups, for village meetings, for training courses – in, in due course for courses to improve digital skills.

Lessons to Learn:

  • There are always areas to improve and diversify for a pub business – even those run by award-winning licensees!
  • The next step is to publicise the new facilities to ensure that they are utilised by the local community.
  • Improving digital skills will become more important in the future as health care, benefits and banking move online more and more.

Project Costs: 

Contribution from Licensee £5,887
Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Grant £3,000
Total Project Costs £8,887