The Purleigh Bell is a 14th Century Pub that was refurbished in the 16th Century and still retains many of the original features and is steeped in history. Kirsten Webb Owner and Licensee has made the pub extremely attractive and welcoming to customers without losing any of its character. The pub is located at the top of a steep hill with fantastic views in every direction, and because it is situated within a conservation area they get many walkers and cyclists calling into the pub. Over the past three years Kirsten has built up a reputation for good food spreading beyond the normal catchment area, giving the pub the status that many others would dearly like. Kirsten already tries to help the community by having Keep-Fit classes for the elderly in the function room, with Yoga, Pilates plus chair-based exercises etc. This room is also used by the Cricket Club, the Wildfowlers, and the Art Society. Kirsten allows local artists to hang their paintings on the walls of the pub and in addition has a book club library, a dressmaking group and hosts a Christmas market. Kirsten recently embarked on her biggest project and challenge, to convert the function room into a Cinema while still remaining a flexible room so that all the above activities can continue alongside showing both educational and entertaining films for all age groups. An architect was engaged to design an overall scheme for planning and a building survey to ensure that they can make the most of the function room. This is a great asset to the village and local community with the nearest cinema more than a twenty mile round trip, therefore not only saves customers money but also is a big help in reducing the carbon footprint. The Purleigh Bell is the only pub in the village and it is obvious that Kirsten is very keen to help the community by diversifying into many areas that take a lot of hard work and enthusiasm to succeed.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- A proactive Licensee with a clear vision for community needs.
- Added to the quality of life for local people.
- Provided a valuable community facility.
PROJECT CAPITAL COSTS
Total project cost (£18,000) Private funding applicant contribution (£11,500) Match funding grant from Essex CC (£ 6,500)
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