North Yorkshire pub attracts groups and homeworkers with new AV facilities

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The Exelby Green Dragon, near Bedale, is increasing its support for local residents with the opening of a new room with AV facilities to attract groups and homeworkers. 

The room is well-equipped to offer video conference and out of home working facilities.

Publicans Tom and Becci Baker, (pictured below), who run the community-owned pub, want to encourage societies and groups to use the space as well as appeal to people that are now working at home due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The room can accommodate small groups, such as the local book club, and businesses allowing for socially distanced meetings.

The room, which includes a wide screen TV, internet access and video conferencing facilities, was opened 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.

Publican Tom Baker said: “This new community room will offer those people working from home a safe environment, appeal to local groups as well as offering conference facilities for local businesses.”

He adds: “The great audio visual facilities will allow us to offer events to get the local residents together. The shop and café we opened in 2019 has already extended our appeal to new people and villagers who didn’t traditionally use the pub and we want to make sure we continue to attract more people locally.”

The pub opened a delicatessen shop and café in 2019 also with the help and support of Pub is The Hub, which has proved to be a great success. 

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Nigel Williams said: “The Exelby Green Dragon is a pub that has the full support of people living locally.

“It is really the only social meeting point for the village so adding in a facility that appeals to groups and businesses will be really key in helping local people to connect for both business and pleasure.”

When the Exelby Green Dragon closed its doors in April 2018, the Exelby community galvanised support through a share issue, grants and loans and purchased the pub in October 2018.