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Norfolk's first community-owned pub to open a shop

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

The White Horse at Upton shop
The White Horse at Upton shop

Related tags: Want, White horse, Post office, Pub

Norfolk’s first community-owned pub has opened a shop thanks to support from rural pub champions Pub is the Hub and Norfolk County Council. The White Horse at Upton will sell newspapers, local produce and other everyday essentials.

The shop will also stock bottled beers and ciders produced by five local breweries.

Director of the White Horse Development Trust Peter Crook said: “As a community enterprise the shop extends our role in the village and has a particular benefit for older residents. As with all pub businesses we need to pay our way to be viable, but the real return is the social benefits the community enjoys.

“I remember a time when the village had three shops, a post office, a school and a chapel. They’ve all gone now and taken some of the heart of our community- we’re putting that back.”

Terry Stork, regional advisor for Pub is The Hub also voiced his pleasure at the pub’s success, adding: “Peter and his colleagues have achieved so much in three years and we’re delighted to support this next step in in creating the community hub that is the White Horse.”

The pub was rescued from the brink of closure two years ago, after locals joined forces with The Prince’s Countryside Trust and Broadland Community grants to buy £120,000 worth of shares. Upton locals hope the new shop will start to tackle the growing problem of social isolation and exclusion among the village’s older residents. 

The Pub is the Hub campaign provides support for rural licensees who want to broaden their services, and so far has opened 100 post offices and 125 shops, alongside libraries, cinemas and play areas. 

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