THE GREAT BRITISH PUB AWARDS - PUB HEROES

How have GBPA winners used Coca-Cola Community funding?

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Celebrating success: the Coca-Cola Community Partnership Fund has allowed Great British Pub Award winners to undertake business improvements
Celebrating success: the Coca-Cola Community Partnership Fund has allowed Great British Pub Award winners to undertake business improvements

Related tags: Charity, Coca-cola, Great british pub awards

Coca-Cola pledged £165,000 to be shared among the 2020 Great British Pub Awards Pub Heroes winners and can now reveal how the funding has helped businesses prepare for post-lockdown trade.

As part of the drinks company’s special Community Pub Fund, each winner had the chance to submit an application of up to £10,000 to put towards a business improvement or towards a community project.

The prize was funded as part of the $120m (£87.6m) global Coca-Cola system, donated to Covid-19 relief efforts in affected communities.

The Victoria in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, took the title of Punch Pubs & Co Pub Hero thanks to its ability to rise to the challenge of supporting its community amid the pandemic with initiatives such as teaming up with a local food bank to deliver more than 12 tonnes of food for free and sourcing Easter eggs for local children.

Coca-Cola funded an outdoor project as part of the pub’s prize at last year’s Great British Pub Awards.

Licensee Kath O'Neill submitted an application for a £10,000 grant from the fund and the money has gone towards transforming the outdoor area in a covered terrace with a heated marquee and has a digital projector to keep customers entertained in the garden. It also helped pay for new outdoor furniture.

Inundated with enquiries

O'Neill said: “Winning the £10,000 prize as part of the Great British Pub Awards has made the prospect of opening post-lockdown much less daunting. The funding from Coca-Cola has allowed us to enhance our garden area, meaning we can open our doors to the public when restrictions ease.

“The refurbishment means we’ll be able to serve more customers and their families outside, and we’ve already been inundated with enquiries since the reopening announcement was made.  

“We’re so excited to be able to open our doors again, as we welcome our loyal customers and meet new ones, revealing our new and improved outdoor space.”

Furthermore, the Fox at Peasemore in Berkshire won the Community Services Pub Hero award with operators Lauren and Phil Davison quickly developing the business into a community shop and then takeaway before going on to start knocking on doors of vulnerable members of the community to check on them.

The Fox

The duo also applied for a £10,000 grant, which helped to transform its old, paved patio into a new covered terrace, with lighting and heating, hosting up to 30 covers. The cash also went towards a new water feature and additional landscaping to create a garden feel.

Phil said: “Winning the £10,000 prize as part of the Great British Pub Awards was a complete game-changers for us at the Fox. The funding from Coca-Cola has allowed us to completely transform our outdoor space, meaning we can open our doors to the public when restrictions ease.

“The refurbishment has gone down really well with our loyal customers too – we received 300 booking enquiries in just three hours following news of our reopening!  

“We’re so excited to be able to open our doors again, as we welcome our loyal customers and meet new ones, revealing our new and improved outdoor space.”

Serve outside for the first time

Meanwhile, the Mowden Hotel in Darlington, Country Durham delivered more than 10,000 free meals to struggling locals and was awarded the title of Ei Publican Partnerships Hero of the Year.

The Mowden

The couple provided much needed support to vulnerable locals including one single mother who’d been suffering from cancer and was so ill her 12-year-old daughter was having to cook for her.

The funding of £10,000 awarded to this pub from the Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund went towards a huge new terrace and two heated parasols, meaning the pub can now serve an additional 60 covers outside.

The money also helped the pub install an unobtrusive glass barrier, to aid social distancing measures and keep staff and customers safe.

Simon said: “Winning the £10,000 prize as part of the Great British Pub Awards has helped us to feel much more confident about reopening. With the funding from Coca-Cola, we can now serve customers outside for the first time, meaning we can open our doors to the public when restrictions ease.

“The refurbishment has already been well-received by our loyal locals– we’re fully booked for the first few weekends in April and into May already!”

Coca-Cola European Partners head of on-premise Paul Robertson said the company had been inspired by the ways publicans can stepped up to support local people throughout the coronavirus crisis, despite many facing hardship themselves.

He added: “The Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund is our way of giving something back. The grant money is designed to help these businesses – and their communities – get back on their feet when they are able to.”

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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