Pub in west Norfolk wins national award

An open meeting will be held at Stoke Ferry Village Hall on Lynn Road to discuss the future of the B

The Blue Bell at Stoke Ferry which has won a national award. - Credit: Archant

A pub in west Norfolk has won a national award after helping lonely villagers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Blue Bell in Stoke Ferry, near Downham Market, won the prize at the Rural Community Business Awards which were presented by The Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith.

The community-owned pub was one of seven businesses to be recognised for "outstanding" contributions to the community.

The awards are held by the Plunkett Foundation which supports rural communities to tackle issues of isolation and loneliness through community-owned businesses.

James Alcock, CEO at the Plunkett Foundation, said: “The Blue Bell has made a real impact in helping to transform the lives of people within their local community.

"The enthusiasm, energy, skills and dedication of its volunteers has been unflagging and the committee have truly placed volunteering at the heart of everything they do – bringing individual growth as well as community benefit and wellbeing.”

People living in Stoke Ferry had previously fought a year-long campaign to save their last remaining pub, which ended with the Blue Bell's community purchase in July 2021.

The community received the backing of Stephen Fry, who said "let's save endangered, beloved pubs by buying them together".

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