Saracen’s Head, Shirley near Ashbourne

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The Saracen’s Head is a long established and highly successful pub/restaurant in the village of Shirley, which is approximately 5 miles from Ashbourne in Derbyshire.  Recent awards include “Derbyshire Pub of the Year 2017”, “Derby Food and Drink Award 2017 – Best Out of Town Category” and “Derbyshire Best Gastro Pub 2017”.  Robin Hunter contacted Pub is The Hub and he had an initial meeting with their advisor, Hugh Wilson, back in 2014.  For various reasons the project was put on hold until May 2017 when a Community Services Fund grant for the project was agreed.  Planning approval was required and was received in Autumn 2017.

Project Summary

The completed Deli/Bakery is in a converted building closely adjoining the pub.  It is a brilliant example of a diversification project which creates an essential new service for the village and the surrounding area.

The Deli is filled with specialist foods and the hallmark Saracen’s Head Take-Away Meals.  The Church Lane Deli also stocks fresh milk and dairy items, local fruit and vegetables, together with home baked goods such as bread, cakes and pastries.  Robin has also arranged for the local fish supplier to park at the Deli for half an hour twice a week at 11am and noon.

A typical comment from new customers has been “not only am I lucky enough to live in a lovely village with the best pub/restaurant in Derbyshire but we now have the Church Lane Deli”.  This project is a perfect example of the PiTH philosophy of supporting rural pubs with a view to ensuring their longevity and at the same time being an essential part of the community in which they are based.

Outcomes So Far

  • Brilliant conversion of an under used barn that complements the pub.
  • Two part-time jobs created in this rural community.
  • Dual benefit of providing produce for the village and surrounding area as well as the pub.
  • Strengthening the already strong relationship of pub and community.
  • A classic example of what Pub is The Hub and the Community Services Fund grants are trying to achieve, namely the creation of a new complementary business.
Costs £
Contribution from Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund 3,000
Licensee contribution 8,400
Total Project cost 11,400