September 19 2014 Latest news:
Tracey Gray, Reporter
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
As well as a pint and a packet of crisps villagers sat one rural pub will now also be able to pick up their groceries as well.
The Cross Keys which is based in The Street, Dilhamn near North Walsham, has opened a new farm shop and delicatessen alongside the pub.
The opening of the ‘Convenience Store – Farm Shop and Delicatessen’ in Dilham is the first of a series of new services being rolled in pubs across Norfolk as part of the Pub is the Hub scheme, which uses public houses as centres to provide essential services for local communities, from shops and meals on wheels to fitness classes and bee keeping.
Norfolk County Council has created a fund of £30,000 to support Norfolk pubs to create community facilities and services where there are no others in the local area. Pubs can apply for grants of up to £4,000 to fund projects that would meet a local need or can help the community to thrive.
The Cross Keys publicans, Paul and Karen Grothier, who have run the pub since 2010, applied for £4,000 as part of the project and have been working since June to get the new shop open. The convenience store will become the only shop in the village of Dilham, so is likely to become a vital resource for local people.
Mr Grothier said: “When we got the call about being involved in the Pub is the Hub scheme it was something we had already thought about ourselves. The more you can do for people that surround the pub, the better it becomes for them. It works both ways people will come to the pub and see there is a shop and those who come to the shop will see there is a pub.”
The deli was officially opened by North Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb on Friday .
He said: “The village pub has traditionally been a focal point of community life in villages across Norfolk, and it is incredibly important that they continue to play a vibrant and active role.
“Initiatives like this, with pubs offering extra services like a village shop, don’t just protect the future of our pubs, but they can also provide a valuable facility for local residents, and I know that this model has already proved incredibly successful in other places.”
Bev Spratt, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s economic development sub-committee, said: “I know the area and I know that the village of Dilham has been crying out for this kind of community store for many years.”
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