A village pub near Warwick has won a national community business award
The New Inn in the village of Norton Lindsey near Warwick has won the Community Story of the Year awards for the Plunkett Foundation Rural Community Business Awards.
The Norton Lindsey pub was one of nine community businesses recognised with Plunkett Awards.
Community owned businesses are proving a successful way to ensure rural towns and villages are vibrant places to live and work – and nine of them were celebrated at Plunkett’s Rural Community Business Awards.
This award recognises stories that capture how community businesses often go the extra mile when it comes to supporting individuals and community life.
Zanna Patchett, with the management committee at The New Inn, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as this year’s winner of the Plunkett Foundation Rural Community Business Awards for Community Story of the Year.
"We have strived from the outset to create a welcoming place that sits at the heart of our community, and to be recognised at a national level is just fantastic.
"However, this is a community award and we would not have won it without the support of our wider community, and so we would like to thank everyone who has supported us in any way since the start of our journey – our volunteers, our staff, our customers and our shareholders. We look forward to continuing to develop and grow as a community together.”
Businesses including a farm, a woodland, a community hub, a cafe and pubs and shops were recognised at the awards ceremony.
The awards celebrate and raise awareness of the unique contributions community ownership can make to creating resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities.
The Plunkett Foundation said community businesses are having a positive impact both socially and economically on rural life – bringing communities together to own and run their own enterprises.
Zanna, with the New Inn, added: "As Warwickshire’s first community owned pub, our vision since opening in April 2017 has always been to put our local community at the heart of everything we do and we continue to strive to be a real hub of the community where everyone feels welcome and included.
"As well as serving great quality home cooked food and locally brewed real ales, we host many events designed to appeal to a wide cross section of interests including our recently launched circular walks."
James Alcock, Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “Community businesses are breathing new life into rural communities across the UK. When a small town, village or hamlet faces the loss of a local amenity it can be a devastating blow to the residents that use it. Often community ownership is the answer, as we have seen with the shops and pubs that we have recognised with our awards.”
“But it is not just pubs and shops. Community ownership can work for a diversity of enterprises. We have seen farms and woodlands which offer services that can and do have a real social impact through original ideas. It is an enormous pleasure for the Plunkett Foundation to be able to celebrate some of the outstanding individual stories with these awards.”
Community businesses are enterprises that are owned and run democratically by members of the community and others, on behalf of the community.
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 feature 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.
The awards are presented in partnership with Power to Change – the independent trust that supports community businesses in England – and is sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association.
Vidhya Alakeson, Power To Change Chief Executive, said: “It is an honour to be a partner in these inspiring awards and help to recognise the work of such inspiring and dedicated people. Community businesses can be a real lifeline in rural communities – a shop, pub or post office do so much more than sell goods, they keep people connected. Many congratulations to all of these very deserving winners.”
The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday November 27 at Burlington House in London.
George Parkinson, Operations Director at Hastoe Housing Association, said: “As England’s leading provider of affordable rural homes, we know there is much more to creating communities than just building homes. Community businesses often provide the only opportunity for people living in rural areas to come together. In providing work, volunteering opportunities and much needed services, they create the conditions for communities to thrive.”
“These Awards play a vital role in recognising many of the great projects, businesses and people who continue to make a positive difference in their community.”
Winners were presented with a cheque for £250.