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Unspoilt Suffolk pub gets cash boost to help it survive the winter

PUBLISHED: 16:30 11 October 2020

The Low House, also known as the King's Head, has secured a government grant  Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Low House, also known as the King's Head, has secured a government grant Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Laxfield pub hailed as one of the ‘most iconic’ in the country has secured its future thanks to a government scheme aimed at protecting historic venues.

The Laxfield pub's interior layout makes social distancing difficult Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe Laxfield pub's interior layout makes social distancing difficult Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The Low House - also known as The King’s Head - has been awarded a grant from the government’s £103million Culture Recovery Fund.

The cash will allow the pub to continue operating throughout the winter after bosses previously warned the layout of the venue would make social distancing impractical.

Named as the ‘unspoilt pub of the year’ in the Good Pub Guide for 2020, the Low House dates back to the 16th century and is one of the few remaining taprooms - where customers see their pints poured directly from the barrel.

MORE: Community company seals deal to takeover 16th century Suffolk pub with rare taproom

It is owned by The Low House Community Interest Company (CIC), a group of regulars who clubbed together to buy the treasured pub back in 2018 after Southwold-based brewer Adnams announced plans to list it for sale.

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However, the pub’s cosy interior means keeping customers safely apart during the coronavirus crisis has proved a challenge - with director Tim Woolnough previously expressing his fear that the winter would be a “real struggle”.

The Low House has been handed a lifeline after an application for support from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund - which was introduced to protect historic sites and their workers - has proven successful.

Mike Hawkins, of The Low House CIC, said the funding will help protect jobs and allow the pub to continue serving customers during the winter months.

He said: “We are thrilled to be the recipients of an award from the Culture Recovery Fund for heritage.

“We were concerned for our future because of the loss of revenue during the summer months and the reduction in capacity brought about by the need to make the venue Covid-safe.

“This award will allow us to remain open throughout the winter, albeit with reduced opening hours.
“The Low House is one of the England’s most iconic country pubs. Largely unchanged since the 19th century, it offers visitors a unique experience and atmosphere.

“At a time when pubs across the country continue to close at an alarming rate, it is more important than ever to preserve special places like this.”

MORE: Ancient pub poised to cut workforce amid crisis


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