Chris and Liz Shore’s vision for their rural pub was brought to life last week when Norfolk County Councillor Margaret Stone opened their new café and shop at The Bell at Wortwell.
When they took over the running of nineteenth century pub in September 2014, Chris and Liz were aware of the lack of amenities in the village so they decided to change the underused pool room at the pub into a shop and café area. This they have achieved by replacing the pool table with shop facilities offering local food supplies and essential items and providing more comfortable furniture for the café. At the same time they engaged the whole community to assist in buying a defibrillator for use by the village also sited at the pub.
With advice from Terry Stork at Pub is The Hub; the help of a Community Services Grant of £1,750 from Norfolk County Council; and the community’s own money-raising efforts they have now achieved their aims to provide Wortwell villagers with essential new life enhancing and life-saving services for the community.
Chris Shore said: “We wanted to provide a resource for the village that meant people didn’t have to catch a bus or travel by car to get to the nearest shop – and while the pub is open, so are these new services.”
The shop and café will be open for the same trading hours as the pub: 12 to 11pm on Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturday; 5 to 11pm on Tuesdays and 12 to 10pm on Sunday.
Norfolk County Council announced that they would be setting up a fund of £30,000 for rural pubs in June 2014 to help Norfolk pubs to create community facilities and services where there are no others in the local area.
Since then pubs have been able to apply for grants of up to £4000 to fund projects that would meet a local need or can help the community to thrive. Examples of projects pubs are running across the country range from fitness classes and meals on wheels to farm shops, delicatessens and disabled access facilities.
Pub is The Hub assists with guidance on availability of project funding, and having a thorough understanding of the pub business, is able to advise on the best way to progress with each individual project.
Anyone interested can find out more about applying for funding by contacting Terry Stork, East Anglia Advisor for Pub is The Hub on 07789 275908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.