New Inn community pub wins national award

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THE New Inn, Norton Lindsey, has beaten competition from across the country to win the Community Story of the Year Award from national charity the Plunkett Foundation.

The award, Sponsored by Triodos Bank, recognises a community businesses that has gone ‘that extra mile’ to support individuals and community life.

The New Inn became the first community owned pub in Warwickshire when it was purchased collectively by more than 240 people in 2016.

Residents had a race against time to save the pub – which has been an inn since 1750 – from developers. The New Inn is now run for the benefit of the community and has become a much loved pub and hub for local people.

Danny Storer, from the New Inn, said: “It’s great for everyone’s hard work to be recognised, it is nice to have something to show for it. The pub has made all the difference – people have got somewhere to socialise. They have been without a village hall for a long time. There’s nothing else there really.”

The Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities across the UK to tackle the issues they face through community business.

James Alcock, chief executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “The New Inn have an extraordinary story to tell – it is a story of overcoming the challenges they faced in order to not just save their local pub, but to survive and thrive as a community business. They are very worthy recipients of the Community Story of the Year Award and they will be an inspiration to others across the country. I’m delighted to be able to celebrate their continued success with this award.”

Twenty one community businesses were shortlisted for the 2019 Rural Community Business Awards. Finalists ranged from farms and pubs to cafés, shops and a woodland.

The Plunkett Foundation is marking its centenary year. Since 2013 the charity has been recognising community businesses with their annual awards. This year the awards featured seven categories – all of which celebrate the achievements of groups across the country who have come together in community organisations and found the answer to the challenges they face through community businesses.

Rob Keegan at Triodos Bank, said: “The New Inn truly provides something for everyone, from walking groups to the children’s area in their garden. They’re an excellent example of how a pub can support a community to thrive and a worthy winner of the award.”

The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 27th November at Burlington House in London.

The winners were presented with a cheque for £250.