The Kings Arms is the only pub in the village of Stainton located about 3 miles west of Penrith. The village has a population of around 1,000 residents and other services include a farm shop and a small hotel. The pub is in a centrally located roadside location in the village, with a car park and is busy throughout the year, with a mix of seasonal visitors and local trade. The licensee, Mr Jakeman has been running the Kings Arms for just over 3 years, with his son, and the pub provides valuable local jobs employing 2 full-time and 6 part-time staff. The licensee previously owned the Horse and Farrier pub in nearby Dacre, in which he ran a Post Office. This is a family run business with experienced operators, and Mrs Jakeman is the Sub-Post Mistress. The Post Office was previously run from a private home on the edge of the village, and there were obvious concerns that the village may lose the Post Office under the recent network restructuring programme. The project received strong support from the Parish Council and pub owners, Punch Taverns, who helped extensively with the planning application.
The project has successfully relocated the existing Post Office, from a site within a private residence on the edge of the village to a central location, also bringing back into use a redundant garage at the pub. The new larger Post Office premises also includes a small shop selling newspapers, confectionery, stationery and cards, and a small range of household goods. The conversion of the redundant garage has made the Post Office more accessible for villagers and provided extra space to widen the range of products for sale. The development received a 50% financial contribution from Cumbria County Council, through their Cumbria Rural Infrastructure Programme (CRISP), which helps rural communities retain and create services. The remainder of the costs were met by the licensee, with support form the Post Office. The work was project managed by the owners and building work was completed within a two and a half week time-scale.
The new Post Office and shop has strengthened the community role of the pub, and compliments the existing village services such as the farm shop. The development has added to the quality of life for local people and serves to avoid the need for local people to travel the 6 mile round trip to Penrith. The Post Office is open 21 hours a week from 9.30am and the shop open 6 days a week from 8.00am, and both receive great support from local people and visitors. Importantly, the Post Office was retained in the recent network restructuring.
Total project capital costs £13,600.00
Applicant contribution £6,800.00
Cumbria County Council CRISP grant contribution £6,800.00
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