Archive for April, 2015

Proud to be opening the new shop at the White Horse in Upton

The community-owned White Horse pub at Upton in the Norfolk Broads is opening a village shop today with the support of rural pub champions Pub is The Hub and funding from Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council and Upton with Fishley Parish Council. 

Serving the community for over 200 years and in the hands of  villagers for the last three, the White Horse on Chapel Road is branching out into retail and providing an essential service to the village. 

In 2012, when the pub was threatened with closure, over £120,000 worth of shares for the pub were snapped up by the locals with additional help from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Broadland Community Grants, Broadland Community Renewables and the Norfolk Community Foundation.  Since then they have improved facilities and now Upton has a thriving pub and restaurant. 

After hearing about Pub is The Hub and other local funding, the White Horse management team were able to apply for two grants to create their shop: A capital grant from Broadland District Council has been used to fund the building and construction work and professional services whilst the £4k grant from Norfolk County Council’s Community Services Fund has been used to pay for freezers, fridges, electronics, shelving display systems, security and lighting, and general shop fittings.  Further funding was provided by the parish council. 

Serving newspapers, local produce and other essential and convenience items the White Horse Community Shop will be open between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday and 9.00 am to noon on Sundays.  It will be staffed by volunteers from a pool of twenty-five, with a paid coordinator for 16 hours a week and will sell locally- sourced goods such as home-grown vegetables, locally produced delicatessen items, baked goods and bottled beers and ciders produced by five breweries within a five mile radius. 

Peter Crook, Director and Company Secretary for The White Horse Development Trust said: “I am happy to say that the shop was on our to ‘do list’ when we took the pub over in 2012 together with a lot of other projects such as a micro-brewery, installation of camping pods and a central fruit press for local produce. It was the announcement of grant availability from Norfolk County Council by Pub is The Hub that rapidly elevated the shop to the top of our list, and the reality that it has now become. It would have been some years away otherwise. 

“As a community enterprise the shop extends our role in the village to a wider clientele and has particular benefits for the older residents. As with the pub business we need to pay our way to be viable, but the real return is the social and community benefits the village enjoys. 
“I remember a time when the village had three shops, a post office, a school and a chapel. They’ve all gone and taken some of the heart out 
of the community – we are now putting it back.” 

Tom Garrod, County Councillor for the ward that includes Upton, said:
“It is great to see the White Horse thriving, and fulfilling its role as a great community resource.  I am delighted that the County Council contribution was able to bring forward the community shop project and I hope it helps to embed the pub’s importance to the community even more”. 

Terry Stork, regional advisor for Pub is The Hub added: “Peter and his colleagues have achieved so much in three years; we are delighted to support this next step in creating the community hub that is the White Horse.” 

In partnership with Pub is The Hub, Norfolk’s Community Services Fund was established last July to help pubs in Norfolk to diversify into new services provision for their own communities. In launching the fund, Norfolk County Council recognised that good licensees today can work with the public, private and voluntary sector to improve the local economy. 

With a solid track record of rural project development and delivery over the last ten years, Pub is The Hub has worked with great licensees to open 100 post offices, 125 shops, 30 computer training centres, provision for allotments, play areas, libraries, school meals, local cinemas, and in the region of 30 pubs being run by their own local community. 

The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.