Community Pubs Minister praises Pub is The Hub for helping North Yorkshire local

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Full of praise: (l-r) Simon Theakston, Cameron Reid, Jake Berry MP enjoy a pizza at the New Inn
Full of praise: (l-r) Simon Theakston, Cameron Reid, Jake Berry MP enjoy a pizza at the New Inn

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A Yorkshire pub that has opened a village shop and a bakery in its bar, thanks to Pub is The Hub, has been hailed by Jake Berry MP because it has enabled him to buy an Italian aubergine – "possibly one of the most unusual items to be found in a pub around the area".

Jake Berry MP called in at the New Inn, Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire, to see how the recent addition of a village shop has improved local services – and to try his hand at making pizzas.

Pub owners, Cameron and Dionne Reid, installed the shop and bakery in their village pub last year to provide the local community with “much-needed” access to essential everyday items without having to travel an eight-mile round trip to the nearest shop.

At the same time, they have added a wood-fired pizza oven to their main restaurant to expand their menu and to offer a takeaway options for locals.

The shop area sits at one end of the bar so that staff can serve both areas at the same time.

It was initiated and completed in April 2016 with support, advice and a grant of £3,500 from Pub is The Hub.

Lifeline for rural communities​ 

Berry said Pub is The Hub is a “lifeline for Britain’s rural communities”, helping people to access the services and activities they need "while enjoying a pint in the familiar setting of their local". 

"The New Inn demonstrates that even a modest grant can transform a traditional Yorkshire pub into a shop, a pizzeria and, above all, a hub for the whole community," he said.

Pub is The Hub chairman Simon Theakston added: “It was lovely to show the minister how small awards from our Community Services Fund can make such a big impact on services for local communities and we are enormously grateful to the Government for its continued support of Pub is The Hub – he’s not bad at making pizza either.”

Established in 2001, Pub is The Hub "inspires and encourages good licensees who run rural pubs" to provide additional, much-needed community services and activities; from libraries, shops and post offices to IT training and dementia-friendly lunch clubs.

Since it founded the Community Services Fund in 2013 as a "fund of last resort" for rural pubs looking to diversify, Pub is The Hub has awarded grants from £500 to £3,000 to more than 90 pubs; creating more than 150 new jobs in rural areas and supporting a rural population in excess of 78,000 people.

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