The New Inn in Norton Lindsey, Warwickshire has celebrated the opening of its new village store.
A grand total of £90,000 was raised to set up the shop thanks to grants and donations from Pub is The Hub, Warwick District Council, Norton Lindsey Parish Council, The Seccombe Trust, The Stilton Sniffers and a number of village benefactors.
The pub which was originally established in 1750, was closed and put up for sale in 2016. In December 2016 it became the first community pub in Warwickshire when it was purchased by a collective of over 220 people, who raised £350,000 and secured the pubs freehold for the community.
The vision was to create a hub for the community by making greater use of this local asset. The provision of a general store was seen as a key element of the pub committee’s strategy. It was recognised from the offset that there was a need for a village store and Pub is The Hub was involved at an early stage giving support and advice.
Local residents pulled together and the ‘Salvation Squad’ was formed – a team committed to ensuring this vital community hub was saved from almost certain residential development.
Quentin Hayes, chair of the New Inn Committee added: “A shop has always been seen as a vital addition to our village, as it was identified as a need when we initially consulted with the village residents back in 2016, when we started the initiative to save our pub.”
Pub is The Hub regional advisor Phil Dixon said: “The need for this village store was recognised as a key need early on when it was purchased by the local community. It has been great to be involved in such a major and successful partnership with other organisations to get this village store that is so badly needed for the local community open.”