Plough Inn, Peldon, Colchester, Essex

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Peldon is a remote village south of Colchester, next to the causeway to Mersey Island.  During the summer months the local pub, The Plough, was busy, but from October to March the local population reduces to around 700 local residents.  Tim Newman, an ex-prison officer, had lived in the area for many years and was aware that many locals had hitherto not been regular pub goers as they viewed the pub as a holiday service rather than a village local.  Tim and his wife Jodie took over The Plough in 2015 and saw the potential to provide services to its local residents.

Following a meeting with local Pub is the Hub Advisor, Bernard Lee in July 2016, an action plan was drawn up with the objective to find a use for spare space at the pub that would interest and benefit the community.

A little-used lounge was renovated and repurposed as a reading room, removing the old bar counter, installing comfy seating and shelving and reinstating the former fireplace..

Tim and Jodie applied to the Pub is The Hub Community Services Fund for a grant to help with refitting the room with library shelves etc., and the new reading room and book exchange was opened on 27th April 2017.

Project Summary:

Book exchange/reading room.

Outcomes so far:

Book exchange/reading room now opened and awaiting the first winter trial for locals to meet in front of a warm fire to have a quiet read or exchange a book, meet friends and enjoy a cup of freshly ground coffee or a pint of local ale.

Lessons to Learn:

Local knowledge is a big help in planning your venture. Tim Newman is well-known in the area and was keen to provide what the locals wanted.


Project Costs £
Total Project Costs £9k
Contribution from Licensee £6k
CSF Grant £3k


For more information telephone 01423 546165 or email