Pubs benefit from Pub in the Hub funding

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ribbon cutting at the Mermaid Inn
Ribbon cutting at the Mermaid Inn

Related tags: Public house

Two rural pubs are hoping to become the centre of their local communities following grants from non-profit organisation Pub is the Hub. 

The Mermaid Inn at Elsing, Norfolk has improved disabled access, opened a tea room and installed internet access while Cornwall’s the Halfway House has started a library.

Mermaid Inn licensee Helen Higgins approached Pub is The Hub for advice after noticing some members of village groups could not easily access the 16-century pub. As well as making the pub more accessible, she hopes the new tea-room and internet access will help fight isolation among locals.

Higgins said: “Since taking on the pub 13 years ago we have witnesses the decline of services in the area for our community, practically leaving us as the last business standing.

“We have invested a substantial amount of our own money in this venture but it would not have been possible without the support, encouragement and financial help from Pub is the Hub.”

Halfway House licensee Jessica Stanton opened a library with the aim of providing a true community pub. The library has already proved a hit, with 20 members signing up within the first few days.

Stanton said: “It’s a tragedy to see so many Cornish villages dying as all the businesses and services close down. Often the pub is the last business left and its projects like the library that help sustain our business and keep people coming in on a regular basis.”

The Pub is the Hub initiative was first launched in April, to help pub licensees provide essential services for their communities.

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