The Lodge public house is situated in the rural village of North Tuddenham 3 miles east of Dereham, with a population of just 335. The pub had a major refurbishment and extension in 2017 and The Lodge Griddle & Grill came into being; attracting the wider community and becoming a destination pub renowned for good food and drink. The Lodge were finalists in 2018’s Norfolk Food and Drink Awards.
Having run the pub since 2007, licensees Vikki and Gavin Hunt decided they wanted to give something back to the community. After talking to their customers about what the village needed, they consistently found that top of the list came a village shop.
Vikki was aware of Norfolk County Council initiative with Pub is The Hub to help rural Norfolk pubs diversify, and made contact. Working with the Pub is The Hub adviser and having had a resounding vote from their customers for a shop; the new extension was the ideal area for this new venture, and had the added convenience of its own entrance and ramp from the car park which would be very beneficial for customers with mobility issues.
The Lodge shop now provides everyday essentials, locally sourced produce, and takeaway meals and hot drinks, helping local businesses and the local economy. Many villagers are walking to the shop giving them a healthier lifestyle and an environmental saving with less car use, and in addition there are a few small tables for coffee afternoons making the shop a meeting place and helping combat loneliness and isolation.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Local authority giving a kick-start grant to this project
- Addressing the needs of the local community having difficulties accessing goods by providing a shop
- Generating a positive perception of the pub, through Pub is The Hub supported by Norfolk County Council and The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
|Norfolk County Council grant||£3,000|
|Total project costs||£9,649|