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The Chequers pub in Wimbotsham is opening a bed and breakfast after a successful grant following pandemic struggles





A village pub has been given a “lifeline” after opening a new bed and breakfast service following a successful grant application.

The Chequers pub in Wimbotsham will be opening a B&B service after receiving a grant from the West Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which is administered through Norfolk County Council's local rural business grant scheme.

Since the pandemic, the pub has faced struggles to stay open due to the cost of living and rise in energy bills.

The Chequers new bed and breakfast facility
The Chequers new bed and breakfast facility

Kim Brockhouse, the pub owner, found out about the gran, which is offering funds for rural businesses to expand or diversify.

In December, the pub was successful in its application for the fund, which has covered 50% of the cost of building work to convert the barn into two bed and breakfast rooms.

One of the two rooms has been made disabled-friendly “as there is a shortage of disabled access rooms in Norfolk”, Kim said.

The Chequers driveway to the new bed and breakfast
The Chequers driveway to the new bed and breakfast

The bed and breakfast is set to open within the next three weeks after the final pieces of furniture have been delivered, meaning it should be ready for the holiday season.

With the pub being the only one in the village, it is important to a lot of community groups which hold meetings at the venue.

The Chequers plays a big part in the community as it is also provides warm spaces throughout the winter with free tea and coffee - as well as discounted lunches.

The inside of one of the bed and breakfast rooms before the furniture is added
The inside of one of the bed and breakfast rooms before the furniture is added

Staff also continue to deliver meals to elderly residents who still have trouble getting out following lockdowns.

On the new B&B service, Kim said: “For the business, I think it will give us a lifeline.

“Having this additional business as part of the pub, it has enabled us to stay open because without an extra income from that business, I don't think we would have made another winter unless things really changed.

“We have been struggling a bit with the cost of living crisis and high energy bills, so it was sort of like ‘will we be able to keep the pub open?’

The inside of one of the bed and breakfast rooms before the furniture is added
The inside of one of the bed and breakfast rooms before the furniture is added

“We heard about the enterprise grant that was being run from the local enterprise group for West Anglia and they came and looked at the property and what we were trying to do.

“The pub will remain open as a pub. I can continue to employ the five local staff I have and more local people in the maintenance and servicing of the bed and breakfast rooms.”



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