Stag Inn, Maidwell, Northamptonshire

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Maidwell is a village in Northamptonshire with over 300 inhabitants. The A508 road runs through its western end and the village is about halfway between the market town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and the county town of Northampton which is about 7 miles south.

There has been a pub on the site since 1766 and Rob Willoughby has been the Licensee of the Stag for the last 17 years.  It has a large beer garden that hosts weddings, outdoor events, along with five rooms for B&B accommodation and food is available seven days a week.

Rob wanted to improve the service offered by the pub for the local community. He decided to add a café on the premises to create a social hub for villagers and community groups as the Stag is the only pub in the area.

Project Summary:

Rob contacted Pub is The Hub for help and advice and realised that he could also apply for funding from the Community Services Fund towards the costs of setting up the café which would serve light refreshments, using locally sourced produce with the coffee actually being roasted locally. As the only pub around, the café will provide a convenient place for residents, particularly elderly and infirm, who have difficulty travelling and would therefore help to combat loneliness. As there is no shop in the village, Rob’s ambition is to provide some essential items with a view to expanding this facility in the future.

Outcomes so far:

The café is now open and provides a very comfortable and welcoming environment, and is attracting both residents, local businesses holding meetings there and tourists passing through the village.  So far, one full time job has been created to work in the café.  Rob is planning some initial evaluation to gather feedback from the local community on the café and any ideas how it can be further utilised or improved.

Lessons to Learn:

Rob’s early thoughts are that serving hot food from the start would have been an additional attraction, as he has been asked if he served breakfasts.

Project Costs:

Contribution from Licensee £7,500
Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Grant £3,000
Total Project Costs £10,500