Pubs and shops given £3k for 'crucial' Covid adaptations

Coddenham Community Shop is one of those to benefit from a Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme grant

Coddenham Community Shop is one of those to benefit from a Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme grant - Credit: Paul Tibbs

Community-run pubs and shops in Suffolk have been given a share of a £3,000 grant from a charity and housebuilder to help them adapt to Covid guidelines.

James Hopkins, executive chairman and founder of Hopkins Homes, said: “Last year was extremely challenging for community-run organisations.

"With Covid safety precautions and restrictions likely to remain in place for some months to come, community-run pubs and shops have had to make significant adjustments to their operations and premises."

So the East Anglian housebuilder and national charity the Plunkett Foundation have given five community organisations grants totalling £3,000 to make necessary changes.

The five venues, all of which are run by community interest companies or similar groups, to benefit from a Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme grant are:

  • The Kings Head, Woodbridge - to buy a new pizza oven to provide more takeaway food for customers.
  • Duke of Marlborough, Somersham Community Pub - money is going towards increasing cold storage capacity.
  • Coddenham Community Shop - to buy bar-coding software and a printer to improve stocking efficiency.
  • Elmswell Parish Council - to support its plans to open a community-run pub.
  • Cross Keys pub, Redgrave – to improve the shelter and patio and increase outdoor capacity for when it reopens after lockdown.

Mr Hopkins added: “We pride ourselves on supporting the communities the homes we build are a part of.

James Hopkins, executive chairman of Hopkins Homes. Picture: HOPKINS HOMES

James Hopkins, executive chairman of Hopkins Homes. Picture: HOPKINS HOMES - Credit: Archant

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"Helping community-run businesses as they react to recent challenges and adapt their businesses is an important element in this, so we’re delighted to have been able to offer these grants.”

As well as the financial boost, the venues will benefit from free support and expertise from Plunkett Foundation advisors.

They will offer tips on issues such as government guidance, cashflow, business planning, access to funding and more.

James Alcock, Plunkett’s chief executive, said: “We are thrilled by the generous support shown by Hopkins Homes towards community businesses in the East of England during what is arguably the most challenging time the sector has ever seen.

“This support from Hopkins Homes is crucial in helping the sector navigate their continued concerns and difficulties whilst they step up to keep the needs of their communities at the heart of what they do.

"The small grants programme and the funding for the advice service, means we can offer even more support at a time that is very difficult for many community businesses.”

Hopkins Homes has donated thousands of pounds to organisations over the past year to help cope with the pandemic,

In June last year, it gave six Suffolk charities £4,500 each to support their work with domestic abuse victims and vulnerable children during Covid-19.

It also gave Halesworth Volunteer Centre £3,000 to help pay for the extra costs of PPE.

For more information about the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme grant, email

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