The Queen’s Head is situated in the rural village of Saddington which is some 8/10 miles South East of Leicester. Julian Benton and Chris Lewis-Sharman have a Tenancy with Everards and took over the Queens Head in February 2013. The pub has been extensively refurbished and provides a separate bar area with open fires and a large split-level dining area. Externally, there is a patio adjoining the internal dining area plus a very large garden and large, existing car park. Chris is a Chef with 25 years experience and he and Julian also co-own the award winning Staunton Arms in Nottinghamshire. There are no other facilities in the village of Saddington and the project provides much needed local shop amenities.
The project has entailed the conversion of a storage area into the village shop. An access has been created to the outside patio and there is a direct link to the pub. The store area has been completely refurbished and the main refrigerated counter displays homemade produce such as meat pies, chutneys and fruit pies all made in the pub kitchen. Separate shelving displays conventional convenience shop items and there is a fridge for milk, soft drinks and a freezer for ice cream etc. The internal signage adds to the overall professional feel in this small village shop.
The new shop has met a need for local people and also helped to strengthen the community role of the pub. It not only provides basic grocery needs but because of the skills of Chris Lewis-Sharman provides quality home-made grocery products. The landlord, Everard’s, have played an important part in the project by not only supporting the creation of the shop but also by providing financial assistance. With Leicestershire County Council unable to provide funding PiTH have supported the project from the Community Services Fund. Overall this project has very effectively converted underused space and cleverly linked the shop with the pub and outside areas and car park.
Lessons to Learn
- Enthusiastic and professional Licensees demonstrated a clear vision for the project and also acted on advice provided by PiTH.
- There was very considerable support from the owners of the Pub, Everard’s.
- There was enthusiastic support from the village which will help to make the pub even more the hub of the community.
- There is great use of under-used space and clever integration with the existing pub.
- PiTH provided support from the Community Services Fund.
Project Capital Costs
Total project costs (£10,250
Landlord (Everard’s) contribution (£8,500)
Pub is the Hub Community Services Fund grant (£1,750)
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