Winterbourne Bassett is a small village of around 160 people in Wiltshire, about 6 miles southwest of Swindon and 7 miles northwest of Marlborough.
Previously known at The White Horse, the village pub had closed in October 2017. The villagers formed the Winterbourne Bassett Community Pub Society and raised £450,000 from private investors, a grant from the ‘More Than a Pub’ scheme and loans from Co-operative and Community Finance to buy the freehold for the pub and run it themselves.
It has been trading now for nearly a year and the committee have employed an experienced couple, Roger and Emie Hawkshaw, to run the day to day side of the operation.
There are still plenty of improvements to complete over the next twelve months but the community have made an excellent start.
The community approached Pub is The Hub for advice and applied for two Community Services Fund grants for a community garden project and a digital hub – they were successful in obtain both grants of £3,000 each. Outside, the funding helped towards clearing the pub garden, preparing the ground and purchasing some play equipment. Inside the funding has paid for a screen and digital projection so that the community can hold meetings, run training courses and film screenings.
- There is still more work to be done on the garden but the main play equipment has be installed, more fencing will be in place as time goes on and footpaths are also being laid from the seating areas, the play area is now open to the public.
- Inside, Roger and Emie are working on a schedule of digital training, courses and entertainment – one of their first successful events was to show a Rugby World Cup quarter final match featuring England accompanied by a full breakfast menu in a crowded pub.
- The pub was also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme as the last programme in a week-long feature on the decline of rural services. The programme featured all aspect of business; from its community purchase, working with licensees Roger and Emie and the two projects with Pub is The Hub.
Lessons to Learn:
- Although it’s lovely to see children using the pub garden play area, the safety aspect of the project will always add to the cost of completing the play area.
- The digital equipment will encourage the community to get together for a wider range of activities.
- National radio coverage can be a great boost to trade, even when it goes out at 5.45am!
|Total Project Costs||£8,000|
|Contribution from the community||£2,000|
|Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund grant||£6,000|