Five community-run businesses in Suffolk have received grants totalling almost £3,000 through the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme to help them adapt to Covid guidelines.
The scheme – a partnership between East Anglian housebuilder Hopkins Homes and national charity the Plunkett Foundation – was set up to help businesses such as community-run shops and pubs adapt to the challenges of Covid, lockdown and reopening.
The community-run organisations supported by the grants are:
- The Kings Head, Low House CIC, Woodbridge for the purchase of a pizza oven to provide a takeaway food option for customers.
- Duke of Marlborough, Somersham Community Pub towards increasing cold storage capacity.
- Coddenham Community Shop to improve stocking efficiency with the purchase of bar-coding software and printer.
- Elmswell Parish Council, to support plans to open a community-run pub.
- Cross Keys pub, Redgrave – to improve the shelter and patio and increase outdoor capacity to support reopening post lockdown.
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.
“We pride ourselves on supporting the communities the homes we build are a part of. 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.”
The Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme has not only provided grant funding but also free support and expertise from the Plunkett Foundation’s central support service and network of advisors. This can be on a range of matters including governance guidance, cash flow advice and business planning, volunteer recruitment and management, accessing funding and navigating government support schemes.
Plunkett helps rural communities to tackle the issues they face, through promoting and supporting community businesses, which are enterprises that are owned and run democratically by members of the community and others, on behalf of the community.
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.”
For more information about the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme grant, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://plunkett.co.uk/hopkins-plunkett-communities-scheme-extended-in-east-of-england/