A community in Beeston in north west Norfolk have not only re-opened the local pub using their own cash to buy shares, they have added a shop and café in a triple boost to their local services.
The Ploughshare at Beeston had been closed for over three years when villagers set up Beeston Community Enterprises, raising £250,000 to purchase and regenerate their 16th Century pub. Starting in February 2019, and after a lot of hard work from many volunteers, the Ploughshare Beeston Community pub reopened in May 2019.
One of the group’s commitments was that it would be more than just a pub, providing a café and a shop, so they contacted Pub is The Hub for some advice. They then discovered that they were eligible for two small grants of £3,000 each from Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund to pay towards the cost of refurbishing and setting up the two new facilities.
Geoff Sorell, Company Secretary for Beeston Community Enterprise explained: “The pub is named after the main cutting blade of a plough – this was all church land and the tithe was a ploughshare, so all the farmers had to give a ploughshare to the church.
“We are now enormously grateful that Pub is The Hub has given us a share of their fund to create these two new valuable community assets.”
Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub comments: “These facilities will help the pub to be more sustainable with the shop offering everyday essentials plus local produce wherever possible, and the café becoming a meeting place for the villagers and wider community, helping to combat isolation and loneliness.”
The pub, shop and café will be staffed by local volunteers.