Not content with raising the money to buy, refurbish and re-open their much-loved village pub, residents at Marston in Lincolnshire have added a community café to their portfolio with help from Pub is The Hub.
The Marston community re-opened The Thorold last November following a four-year closure. The pub’s committee quickly realised that their journey to long-term sustainability lay in diversifying their business to incorporate new services and activities that a rural community needs to thrive and grow.
With normal pub services up and running, the group set up a weekly post office service that visits every Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm quickly followed by a community café serving hot drinks and refreshments daily. Local advisor, Dave Allan was able to support the group with some advice and a Community Services Fund grant of £3,000 towards costs of setting up the new service.
The community group’s treasurer, Sandra Allen commented: “We haven’t got everything quite right yet with regard to our service and menu but we have been on a huge learning curve since opening the pub. The key point is that it wouldn’t have been possible without Pub is The Hub and we can only go from strength to strength.”
The group felt that a café would attract non-pub goers as well as providing a daytime social hub for clubs and local residents who were feeling lonely or isolated.
Next on the list is to create a shop within the pub to cater for local residents that need last minute essentials or can’t get transport into Grantham, over 7 miles away or Newark, 10 miles away.
Pub is The Hub advisor, Dave Allan said: “I have to take my hat off to this enterprising community. They have quickly grasped all the opportunities that a rural pub can provide and have worked tirelessly to pull this off. We wish them luck!”