Community Development Action Hertfordshire
Community Shops and Pubs
Hertfordshire’s Pubs and Shops continue to close, a combination of poor trading, competition and pressure from developers.
CDA Herts supports communities trying to save their valuable community services. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.
However some villages are taking matters into their own hands and are aiming to stop the loss of their community services and launching campaigns to save their village Pub or Shop as a community owned business. The following give some examples of Community owned Shops and Pubs where villagers are getting organised, raising funds and campaigning to save vital community assets.Directory of Hertfordshire’s lost Pubs Plunkett Foundation website
Assets of Community Value/Community Right to Bid
Apply to your local authority to have properties in your community registered under the Localism Act as Assets of Community Value giving the community the right to a 6 month window to raise funds and the Right to Bid for ownership.Find out more about Assets of Community Value and Community Right to Bid
The B. Green Store – A Community Interest Company
Hertfordshire’s newest Community Shop is located in Birch Green just off the A414 west of Hertford. It has only been open for a few months and has already made a huge impact in the community.
The B. Green Store mission is to be a warm and welcoming space in the centre of the village providing a community hub where residents can purchase essential everyday items and meet to enjoy each others company over a coffee & tea, a slice of delicious homemade cake & simple home cooked food.Visit B. Green Store Facebook
The Red Lion Preston – Britain’s first Community owned Pub
The pub is the heart of Preston’s community and stands proudly as the first example of a community-owned public house anywhere in the UK, having been bought from Whitbreads in the early 1980’s. Find out more.
The Red Lion still thrives today as a successful community enterprise over 35 years after the venture was originally started; an accomplishment we are all very proud of. We are supported by wonderful patrons from within the village but have loyal and regular customers from much further afield who appreciate what a real country pub can offer.
Sarratt Post Office Stores
Sarratt Post Office Stores is a community-owned and run business serving the people of Sarratt Parish and those that visit and pass through it.
Sarratt Village shop is at the heart of the Sarratt community. The previous owners were looking to sell the shop as a going concern.
As a community we ran a campaign to raise enough money to buy the shop from the existing owners, a local family, so that it can be run and developed over the long term for the benefit of the wider community.
The campaign to buy the shop started in mid-February 2010 and we were successful in securing enough pledges of funds from over 85 local families to make an acceptable offer of purchase.
After a lengthy period of due diligence – and not without some drama along the way – we succeeded!!!
Tewin Stores and Cafe
Tewin Stores is a community shop, run by the village for the village. In 2007 we were in the forefront of a new trend which has seen the number of community shops in the country expand considerably. Our shop has a paid manager and is run by a volunteer workforce of local people.
We are open seven days a week and aim to give a good welcome to regular customers and visitors to the village. We sell most items that people might need, including newspapers, bread, milk, general groceries, cleaning equiment and birthday cards. Sausages, bacon and eggs are sourced locally. Cakes, quiches and pies, including gluten free, are baked in the area and delivered to the shop each week. Fruit and vegetables are also local and sometimes include produce from our allotments, orchards and gardens. We also sell plants for your garden. In the cafe we serve full English breakfast, light lunches and afternoon teas. Fridays are special Fry Up days when we serve the Full English and also Eggs Florentine and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. We are rated 4 stars by our local Environmental Health inspector. Look out for notices of our special monthly Saturday lunches.
Bread, rolls, croissants, sausage rolls and many other savouries are baked in house. All these items can be pre-ordered, especially for the weekend. Tewin stores was once a bakery – see the History of Tewin book available also in the shop at £20.
Wilstone Community Shop
The Shop is run by the community for the villages north of Tring in Hertfordshire. The Shop is managed and staffed by volunteers from the villages and the surrounding area, with all profit being ploughed back into the business. See the History page for more info on how the shop evolved into its current form.
Our next project is to refurbish / refit the Shop and whilst our trading surplus will go some way to meeting the cost, we’re relaunching the ‘100 Club’ next month to raise extra money to enable us to do the job properly. Details of the Club and how to join are available here.Wilstone Community Shop website
Wigginton Village Shop
The Wigginton Shop will provide a social hub for all ages, young and old, to meet, to volunteer and to learn new skills. The shop will not try to compete with commercial stores, and will work with the already established pop up cafes, Greyhound Pub, Village Hall and others that contribute to the village’s social scene. The shop will be run by a paid full time manager and a rota of volunteers. The shop will be purpose built in keeping with its beautiful surroundings, on the site of the old Scout Hut on the Wigginton Sports Fields.
There has already been a great deal of support shown for this project by many of the residents of Wigginton and the Hilltop Villages. A Management Committee, working party and other steering groups are all working hard to get to the point of being able to propose the shop’s vision to the community
Wigginton Village Shop Share Offer – Between us, we’ve raised an incredible £89,100
The share offer finally came to a close April 11th 2018 after 10 weeks of incredible support from our community and beyond. The applications for shares continued to roll in after our Crowdfunder campaign ended, bringing our grand total to £170,650 including the match funding.
Having also been awarded additional money from a number of sources including generous donations from the community, LEADER (£13.5k) and the Lottery (£10k), and with further funding applications underway, we are in fantastic shape to build our shop.Visit Wigginton Village Shop website
Ongoing Campaigns to save Village Pubs
Save the Cabinet at Reed
Welcome to the campaign to save the 400-year old Cabinet pub in the village of Reed in Hertfordshire.
The Cabinet is a Grade II listed building, the last pub in the village, and the only pub in the country bearing the name. Reed is a lively and expanding community, and the closure of its pub has been deeply felt not only by village residents but also by the many customers who used to travel to frequent this beautiful and successful pub.The Cabinet, although a viable business, closed in 2011 after substantial funds were misappropriated, leading to the bankruptcy of the publican. It was registered as an Asset of Community Value soon afterwards. Despite approaches to the then owners by various financially credible parties to buy or rent it to run as a pub, it remained closed until 2015, when it was sold at auction to the present owner, a property developer, at a price significantly higher than its value as a pub. The developer turned it into a house without planning permission or listed building consent. Notwithstanding complaints from neighbours and from the Parish Council, the planning authority, North Hertfordshire District Council, took no action to protect The Cabinet from these damaging alterations. When the developer applied for planning permission and listed building consent retrospectively, it generated a huge public response. Some 90 written objections were submitted, and the Save the Cabinet Action group was formed to co-ordinate activities to save the last pub in Reed.On 20 July 2017, elected councillors at North Hertfordshire District Council refused planning permission for change of use. The original listed building application has yet to be determined. A new, retrospective listed building application was submitted a few days before the change of use decision. The developer has appealed against refusal of permission for change of use. The appeal will be heard by way of a Public Inquiry on 6-8 November 2018. The battle to reclaim the last pub in Reed Village goes on.Meanwhile the Action Group needs to raise funds urgently to help meet the costs of resisting the appeal. Please help if you can. You can donate online here or read more about supporting the campaign, including other ways to donate, here.Visit the Save the Cabinet Pub website
Save the Cock Inn village pub in Stocking Pelham
In 2008 the Cock Inn, a 300 year old grade II listed historic pub in Stocking Pelham, Hertfordshire, burned down. There is no suggestion or evidence that the Cock Inn was in any way under-used or no longer viable at the time of the conflagration. It was a popular, successful and flourishing community asset, now very much missed by Stocking Pelham and neighbouring villagers from Berden, Furneux and Brent Pelhams and walkers, cyclists and visitors from further afield.Sign the Petition to Save The Cock Inn
Save The Green Man Widford
The current owners of the Green Man pub have indicated that they intend to apply for planning permission to permanently convert the last remaining pub in Widford into a private residence. A public meeting was held on Thursday 5th July to determine how the residents felt about this proposal. It was pleasing that the Gumbal family who currently own the pub felt able to attend the meeting.
The meeting was called at short notice but over 70 residents turned up and voiced their concerns that this facility would be lost to the village forever. For several months the pub has been run by tenants on a trial basis and it is clear that a well run pub could be very successful on this site. Despite some interest the present owners have not been able to sell the business at an acceptable price and feel that change of use is their only option.
After some lively discussion 66 residents signed a petition requesting the Parish Council to apply to East Herts District Council for a Community Asset Order which will delay the planning application for 6 months and allow the residents to investigate other solutions that may be available.