Herefordshire publican reopens village store as a lifeline to local residents after it was destroyed by flooding

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Publican Adrian Shaw of the New Harp Inn in Hoarwithy, near Hereford, has reopened the pub’s village store to support local residents and tourists, after it was previously destroyed by flooding.

The store, which provides part-time employment for two people, was severely damaged by Storm Dennis in February 2020 just before the Covid-19 lockdown hit.

The storm also flooded the main pub building, which underwent a full renovation, reopening in August 2020.

The village store wooden structure, which was attached to the side of the pub, also needed a complete rebuild.  It became quickly obvious how vital the store was to many people in the village who could not travel on the limited bus service to the nearest town for groceries.

It was recently reopened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund Grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.  

The store offers a range of local produce and essential items including milk, eggs, bacon, tinned food, ice cream and pasta which it supplies to local residents in the village and holidaymakers at a local campsite.

Adrian said: “I have always been a supporter of Pub is The Hub and its great work in helping publicans to diversify their businesses to help local communities.

“We were devastated when the flooding destroyed the shop and we needed help to get this back up and running. The challenges of Covid-19 hit at the same time so we realised it was more important than ever to make sure this key social amenity remained for those living in the village.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Roger Belle said: “Those living in the village really felt the loss of their local village store.

“Adrian had the backing of the Parish Council and many local residents who were keen to see this reopen. It was a privilege to help the people living in Hoarwithy to get their village store back.”

The village store opens between 12 and 11pm on weekdays and 8am to 11pm at weekends.