The New Inn, Norton Lindsey

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The New Inn in Norton Lindsey, Warwickshire, is more than just a pub.

It offers something for everyone, housing a pub and community shop, along with many other facilities including a beautiful garden with children’s area, large car park and secure bike parking.

The pub which was originally established in 1750, was closed and put up for sale in 2016. In December 2016, it became the first community pub in Warwickshire, when it was purchased by a collective of over 220 people, who raised £350,000 and secured the freehold for the community.

Community hub

The vision was to create a hub for the community by making greater use of this local asset. It was recognised from the offset that there was a need for a village store and Pub is The Hub was involved at an early stage giving support and advice.

Despite various challenges from planning to Covid the store eventually opened in June 2023. The village store continues to trade well and is popular with people living locally.

The store offer has undergone some changes and adapted since it opened. Originally the plan was that a lease on the premises would be agreed with a local shopkeeper who would run it on their behalf.

But when, after a few months, the shopkeeper decided he needed to focus on his other businesses he decided to hand in his notice.

A discussion between members of the committee concluded that they would run the store themselves with volunteers to help.


Artisan and local produce

The store underwent a revamp with a new approach supporting other local businesses and artisan suppliers.

This has seen it offer a range of local products including beers, jams, preserves, honey, ice cream, fresh meats from a local butcher, and cooked meats from a nearby supplier.

Its range of home cooked frozen meals and famous scotch eggs are a must-have. The fresh bread and pastries supplied by a local baker are also proving to be really popular, with some people in the community queuing to get their favourite items.

The shop also benefits from local groups, who meet at the pub, for activities such as walking and cycling and are in need of refreshments.

The new strategy has proved to be a success with sales 50% above budget and more local people using the village store to get not just those essentials but those specialist, local supplies

The shop now opens Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm and 9am to 11am on Sundays.


Vital addition

Rob Brook, who is responsible for community engagement on the New Inn committee, said: “Taking over the running of the community shop was the best thing we ever did. We can be in charge of the product range and we make sure there are different items available to purchase that are not sold in the pub. Focusing on more local and artisan products has seen lots of new customers come in to use the shop.”

Quentin Hayes, chair of the New Inn committee, said: “A shop has always been seen as a vital addition to our village, as it was identified as a need when we initially consulted with the village residents back in 2016, when we started the initiative to save our pub.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Phil Dixon said: “This village store was recognised as a key need early on when the pub was purchased by the local community. It has been great to be involved in such a major and successful partnership with other organisations to get this village store that was so badly needed for the local community opened.”