A full refurbishment, a hub for the community and food served seven days a week have all been delivered by a community group that saved its local pub.

The White Swan in Gressenhall, near Dereham, was saved in 2020 by Gressenhall Community Enterprise (GCE).

It raised £260,000 in community shares alongside a £50,000 loan and a £50,000 grant administered by the Plunkett Foundation through the More than a Pub programme.

The community-owned pub reopened last May and has become a hub for the village.

Eastern Daily Press: Alex Begg, chair of Gressenhall Community EnterpriseAlex Begg, chair of Gressenhall Community Enterprise (Image: Archant)

Alex Begg, chair of Gressenhall Community Enterprise, said that despite the difficulties in the industry, the pub has flourished.

He said: "If we were offered this situation a year ago, we would've bitten your hand off.

“The pub is developing well and going from strength to strength thanks to a passionate team which run it day to day, and thankfully we have a community which has really got behind it.

"Having a strong location as well as a comprehensive refurbishment completed to a very high standard thanks to many volunteers have provided a strong foundation for success.

Eastern Daily Press: Inside The White Swan in GressenhallInside The White Swan in Gressenhall (Image: Gressenhall Community Enterprise)

"It's something the local community has taken great pride in, have a connection with and visit often, take friends and family, and it gets that snowball effect with repeat custom."

Since picking up the keys in January 2021, the pub has had new plumbing, electrics and flagstone flooring, while a local cabinet maker restored the old bar with an oak top.

It also opened its kitchen to serve food throughout the week, introduced a coffee hub, and hosts quiz and comedy nights.

Eastern Daily Press: The White Swan in GressenhallThe White Swan in Gressenhall (Image: Gressenhall Community Enterprise)

In the year ahead, Mr Begg is keen to see The White Swan consolidate its strong start and develop and improve.

He also hopes one of the pub’s legacies will be to inspire other Norfolk community efforts to step in and save their local.