A Clovenfords hotel saves the village shop

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A Clovenfords hotel has opened a village shop and café on the premises to maintain the essential rural service and to save locals from having to make an eight-mile round trip to the nearest town of Galashiels.

Roy and Theresa McIntosh of the award-winning Clovenfords Hotel stepped in to re-open a village shop in their pub after it closed earlier this year with the help of Pub is The Hub.

As part of their programme of support from Scottish Government and the Scottish Borders Council, Pub is The Hub awarded a grant of £3,953.28 to the Clovenfords project which went towards the conversion costs.

The Clovenfords Hotel Village Shop and Cafe shop stocks essential convenience items as well as newspapers, locally supplied bread, dairy foods, fruit, vegetables, deli items and local arts and crafts. The café provides a day-time meeting place and hub for local residents and visitors and both shop and café are open from 7.30am to 6pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Although the couple have only been at the Clovenfords Hotel for two and a half years, they have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into community life. When the shop was threatened with closure their local Scottish Borders councillor Stuart Bell recommended that Roy and Theresa should contact Pub is The Hub’s advisor for Scotland, Gordon Izatt.

Roy McIntosh said: “When the village shop closed in January, taking it on seemed like the natural thing to do and Stuart suggested that Pub is The Hub could guide us through the process and possibly help with some funding. Communities like ours need day-to-day items and they provide a life-line for village residents.

“We have been really pleased with the feedback so far and we are so grateful to Pub is The Hub for providing the inspiration and funding to get our shop off the ground.”

As a mark of their commitment and achievement, Roy and Theresa have just been awarded the Community Pub of the Year Award at the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards 2017 for their community links and charitable fund-raising.

Gordon Izatt the Scottish advisor for Pub is The Hub added: “This has been a great example of how a co-ordinated approach to put the local pub at the heart of a community can make a real difference. The enthusiasm of publican, Roy McIntosh, was one of the key factors that made this such a success and we are grateful to Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council for playing their part in bringing this scheme together.”

Gavin Stevenson of Punch said: “Throughout Scotland we have seen that a thriving pub can make a significant contribution to the survival of small communities and nowhere is this more evident than at Clovenfords. We are proud to be supporting Roy and his team with this project and his continued efforts to ensure a bright future for the village.”

The photograph above shows Theresa and Roy McIntosh with Gordon Izatt from Pub is The Hub and Cllr. Stuart Bell for the Scottish Borders Council.

The photograph below shows Theresa and Roy with their Wednesday morning coffee group in the shop/café.