Rule Britannia! Pub steps in to revive village shop

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Local MP Hugo Swire officially opened a shop situated in a pub on 1st March 2014, restoring a vital community service to local residents.

Pub licensees Jeff White and Kate Knight took the innovative step of setting up a shop in a disused room in The Britannia Inn at Knowle near Budleigh Salterton.

Having taken over the pub in November 2012 the couple came up with the idea that the village would benefit from having a shop, and set up an interest sheet in the pub to see how many of the villagers and locals agreed. The interest sheet received nearly 200 signatures and people even came to the pub specially to sign it after having heard about it by word of mouth. 

Following such positive feedback, Jeff and Kate approached the pub champions, Pub is The Hub and discovered that there was some funding available to support costs for their project. In the end they were granted £4,000 funding from the Community Services Fund, along with a further £4,000 from other sources, including the ‘Making it Local Team’, an arm of DEFRA and the East Devon Area of Natural Beauty fund.

Jeff said: “Since taking on the pub 18 months ago, we have tried to restore The Britannia back to the heart of the community. The shop is an extension of that service as well as an outlet for local suppliers. None of this would have been possible without the support and financial help from Pub is The Hub and their Community Services Fund.”

Hugo Swire added: “I have long argued that we should follow the example of countries like Ireland where the local pubs offer more than just food and drink. This is an innovation I greatly welcome and I very much hope it will be well supported by locals and visitors alike.”