Royal Oak, Laxfield, Suffolk

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The Royal Oak is located in the heart of the historic village of Laxfield adjacent to the 14thcentury Laxfield Church. During recent church renovations some church services have been held in the pub and their Saturday Market takes place on the pub courtyard each month. This is just one of the many things licensee Mike Downer does for the community.

Project Summary:

Mike has owned The Royal Oak for the last 6 years. Having realised that within the village there was nowhere to sit, relax and have a cup of tea, he made contact with Pub is The Hub to see if there was any help and advice available.

Working with the PiTH advisor, it was agreed that opening a tea room was a good idea, and alongside this to offer a small book exchange with free newspapers so that customers could browse and unwind while enjoying teas and cakes. The designated room was also ideal to offer both IT training for the elderly, and a Senior Citizens Luncheon Club.

Outcomes so far:

The tea room has proved a great success and now also does breakfasts and takeaway food, all made with fresh local ingredients. The project, together with the book exchange has encouraged many of the more elderly residents to come along and socialise; with several of them signing-up for ‘IT’ training and attending the Luncheon Club. The project has helped combat isolation and loneliness, providing a wholesome meal at an affordable price, along with the hidden benefit of knowing that members were OK each week – a ‘safety net’ for elderly residents.

Mike’s pub is now providing jobs for local people, helping the local economy and encouraging visitors and regulars alike to enter, making The Royal Oak a ‘beacon’ at the heart of the community.


Project Costs £
Total Project Costs £4,350
Contribution from Local Authority
Contribution from Private Sector
Contribution from Licensee £2,350
PCF/CSF Grant £2,000


For more information telephone 01423 546165 or email