The White Horse at Upton in the Norfolk Broads is the only pub in this small isolated rural village and was threatened with closure when its landlord approached retirement in 2011/12. The villagers rallied round and set-up a community Interest Company (CIC). Instantly £120,000 worth of shares for the pub were snapped up by the locals with additional help from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Broadland Community Grants, and Broadland Community Renewables. Since then the pub has undergone a complete refurbishment and The White Horse is now a thriving pub and restaurant with a family friendly garden and a marquee to enable outdoor functions. A multi-purpose function suite was also added with grant aid from Norfolk Community Foundation. IT- training for seniors, free internet access, a prescription collection service, weekly walking groups and art and craft sessions are also provided. In addition The White Horse is currently establishing a meals on wheels service.
Upton is a village of some 700 residents with no public amenities other than The White Horse pub. It was always the intention to provide a shop, however the decision was taken to concentrate the limited resources on the core business and develop a shop at a later date. However, after hearing about the ‘Pub is The Hub’ initiative and that Norfolk County Council had created a fund to support Norfolk pubs develop community facilities and services working with ‘Pub is The Hub’, they immediately got involved.
Because of this funding and further help from Broadland District Council and Upton Parish Council, the CIC were able to fast track their plans and work started on a community shop. The shop is located in the barn adjacent to the pub and was opened in April 2015, selling newspapers, local produce and other essential and convenience items, providing support for local businesses and creating jobs for local people. The White Horse Community Shop is a great asset to the community aiding the more disadvantaged and elderly residents (some of whom are unable to drive to get provisions) and also helping combat isolation, all creating the community hub that is The White Horse.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- A village pulling together to make things happen.
- Local Authority backing gave a kick start to this project
- Addressing a long standing need for a village shop.
- Generating a positive perception of the pub, through Pub is The Hub supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Total project capital costs: £20,000
Applicant Contribution £10,000
Norfolk County Council Grant £4,000
Broadland District Council Grant £4,000
Upton Parish Council £2,000
Contact Details: Peter Crook Director and Company Secretary White Horse Development Trust email@example.com
For more information telephone 01423 546165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org