Norfolk pub diversifies to bring community together

Fiona Farrow serves cake in her new community cafe to Terry Stork from Pub in the Hub and Councillor

Fiona Farrow serves cake in her new community cafe to Terry Stork from Pub in the Hub and Councillor Dr Marie Strong PHOTO: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

With an average of two pubs a day currently closing in Britain, one landlady in north Norfolk is diversifying her business to keep her doors open, and help the local community at the same time.

Fiona Farrow who owns the Three Horseshoes at Warham near Wells, has introduced a community cafe into her pub, with the hope of combatting loneliness among the community.

Mrs Farrow said: 'My mother-in-law was recently widowed, and her local cafe was her lifeline. I wanted to do something similar here and Terry Stork, from Pub In The Hub scheme, was a huge help guiding us through the process.'

Pub Is The Hub helps local pubs who wish to diversify to better serve their communities.

Mr Stork from the organisation handed Mrs Farrow a plaque at the opening ceremony, which read 'this pub has been recognised for its important role at the heart of local community services'.

The community cafe concept also won favour with Norfolk County Council, which is running the In Good Company campaign to help combat loneliness in Norfolk.

Believing Mrs Farrow's idea complimented the work they are trying to do, the pub was offered a grant to create the new space.

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Norfolk county councillor, Dr Marie Strong who cut the ribbon to officially open the new cafe, said: 'Warham is a lovely village and because of Fiona's aims this community café will be an additional asset. The county council, recognising the value of what Fiona is trying to do, has helped kick-start the project with £3,000.'

Mrs Farrow said: 'I cannot thank the council enough, not just for the financial help, but they have overseen so much. They wanted to reassure locals that the character of the pub wouldn't be affected and so on.'.

The cafe has been situated in what was an old store room at the Three Horseshoes pub.

Mrs Farrow said: We've brightened the place up, got new flooring and lighting, nice heating and a brand new coffee machine, it's very cosy. I hope young mums, people on their own, teenagers, all come to visit.'

The cafe sources its food from local suppliers, using Grey Seal Coffee, Nelson and Norfolk tea and meat from nearby Wells.

Mrs Farrow said: 'I hope the community cafe becomes a hub for people in the area. We want to support local businesses and get people coming together'.