The White Horse is the only pub in the coastal village of Corton, Suffolk; situated equidistant between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft with a population of just over 1,000. Corton also has a church and a school and is a popular holiday destination with several holiday villages, parks and caravan sites in the area.
Unfortunately, the local shop closed 18 months ago which meant that the villagers had to make a five-mile round trip to Lowestoft to get provisions.
Licensees Beverley Cooper and partner Chris Nilsson have been running the White Horse for the last 4 years and villagers began to ask the couple if they would consider opening a shop at the pub.
Bev and Chris began to look at this idea as a possible opportunity to help the community and made contact with Pub is The Hub for advice.
Working with the local Pub is The Hub adviser, Terry Stork, they looked into converting an outbuilding that was used for storage into the shop. This storeroom would be easily accessible from the pub’s car park on removal of some fencing panels. The couple also applied for a grant from Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund towards the cost of making the conversion, refurbishing the storeroom and fitting it out.
The conversion of the store room was completed within five weeks and provides locally sourced meat and vegetables, newspapers, tobacco and everyday essentials. The shop also has a coffee machine and provides snacks – with some outdoor seating Bev and Chris have also created a social meeting place.
The shop is proving a great success not least because with the school opposite, many parents who park at the pub are taken into the shop by their children for after school treats. In addition, many holidaymakers from the nearby holiday parks have now been made aware of the shop and, along with the villagers, find it a great benefit and asset to the community.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Licensees need the commitment to take on this extra work to help the community.
- Projects of this type support those without cars who are unable to access services more easily.
- A retail service can help to reduce social isolation because it can become a meeting place.
- A project of this type creates an enhanced perception of the pub among the community.
|Pub is The Hub Community Services Fund||£3,000|
|Total Project Capital Cost||£9,110|