Fox at Loxley set to re-open
The pumps are primed and ale has settled as the long wait for the re-opening of the Fox at Loxley finally comes to an end today.
The Fox will become Warwickshire’s newest community pub after a determined campaign saw the Fox at Loxley Action Group raise the £250,000 needed to buy the premises last year from EI Group.
Their efforts have garnered much attention with film crews from German TV even turning up earlier this year to find out what inspired villagers to save their local.
It’s been no easy feat to get the Fox up and running again with volunteers fully redecorating the pub in covid-safe groups during the lockdown.
The pandemic itself also disrupted the project, delaying both the purchase and the re-opening, but with indoor hospitality now being given the green-light to resume, the Fox will be back in business today (Friday 21st May).
The aim is for the pub to become a hub for the village, serving as a café during the day and a meeting space for local group, as well as somewhere to drop by for a pint.
In the future there are also plans to potentially use land to the rear of the premises as a community growing space.
In preparation for the re-opening, Paul Jennings, chair of the Fox at Loxley Action Group, walked ten miles last weekend from Warwickshire’s first community pub, the New Inn at Norton Lindsey, to it’s newest in Loxley, dressed as a fox.
There was also a symbolic handover of the keys to the Fox to its new manager and chef Hannah and Ryan.
Paul managed to raise an impressive £1,548, far exceeding his £500 target, which will go to the Plunkett Foundation, supporting rural pubs, cafes and other community businesses.
Paul said: “The walk went really, really well and I was accompanied by Rob Brook from the New Inn at Norton Lindsey. I’ve never met Rob, so walking ten miles with him could have been hell or it could have been great, I’m happy to say that we just couldn’t stop talking, he had lots of great advice and different ideas about what works at a community pub and what doesn’t.
“I got a few smiles from cyclists, but by the end, I’d almost forgotten that I was dressed as a Fox. The best thing is 84 people donated, which means 84 people probably now know a little bit more about the Plunkett Foundation and how they help communities.
“I’m a little nervous about the re-opening, but I’ve booked a table with the rest of the action group, I’ll buy them all a pint and there’ll probably be a tear in my eye now we’ve finally managed it. I’ve spent so much time at the Fox now, the only strange bit will be seeing other people come in.”
Visitors are welcome to come and visit the Fox, but it is best to call ahead on 01789 840933 to check for availability.