The Blue Bell Inn is situated in a very rural village some 8 miles from Spalding in Lincolnshire. The owners, John and Jenny Lusher, are highly experienced Licensees and purchased the pub some 12 years ago. They have transformed a very run down property into a thriving rural business with a delightful bar area and quite exceptional separate dining facilities. The pub draws its customers from a wide surrounding area of rural villages. It is the centre for many village occasions and has been instrumental in raising considerable sums for local charities. During the Winter time, the pub is regularly used by local Shoots for breakfast and lunch. In the adjoining barn, there is a separate Micro Brewery called the Blue Bell Brewery which not only produces a draught ale for the Blue Bell but also for other pubs in the area.
John has been able to purchase a small field which adjoins the Blue Bell car park in order to create a caravan/mobile home park. As members of the Caravan Club, they have always felt that if they were able to purchase additional land, there would be a demand for caravan park facilities. The field has been cleared and 5 hardcore standings have been created. Each standing has an electrical and TV link and there are 2 water points available. There is also in-field WIFI, and a septic tank has been built with emptying points for caravan WC’s. New privacy fencing has been erected and the area has been provided with floodlights. The Park has been given full Caravan Club status.
As the project has been completed in the Autumn of 2013 the real outcomes will not be judged until the Spring and Summer of 2014. However, the site has already been used and with the publicity gained from the Caravan Club, John has no doubt that this will be a successful additional venture for the Blue Bell. State of the art facilities for people using the site have been provided and the pub offers outstanding meal and bar choices. It is sad that Lincolnshire County Council felt unable to support the project but PiTH had no doubt that this was a worthy case for the Community Services Fund. Importantly, all the work carried out was by local tradesmen and suppliers.
Lessons to Learn
Enthusiastic and highly professional owners prepared to act on advice enabling the project to develop and complete quickly.
The owners have created a very successful rural pub which is the hub of this village and the surrounding area.
Importantly, the project has been completed using local tradesmen and suppliers.
Unfortunately Lincolnshire County Council were unable to support the project but PiTH have provided £4K from their Community Services Fund.
Support from the Caravan Club was important in advising on the necessary requirements and for future publicity.
John and Jenny Lusher’s attention to detail and enthusiasm for the Blue Bell shows what can be created in a rural location and the new caravan park has added to the quite exceptional facilities which the pub offers.
Project Capital Costs
Total project costs (inc land purchase of £15,500) (£21,300)
Applicant contribution (£17,300)
Pub is the Hub Community Services Fund (£ 4,000)
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