Rescued pub near Bridgnorth in the running for national award

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Entertainment | Published:

A community-owned pub near Bridgnorth which was rescued from dereliction by residents is now in the running for a national award.

The Pheasant at Neenton

The Pheasant at Neenton was at risk of being closed for good before the village's community society took it over and reopened it in 2014.

The country inn has now been shortlisted in the Best Social Enterprise, Charity or Community category at the 2019/20 Rural Business Awards.

It will battle it out against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs and enterprises from across the region for a place at the national final.

John Pickup, chairman of Neenton Community Society, said this commendation would add to the pub's growing list of achievements.

“We’ve been winning awards and accolades for our food and drink as well as our role as a local, so it’s really pleasing now to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards which recognize the excellent charitable social enterprise we’ve created," he said.

"The Pheasant is the economic as well as the social hub of our community, offering a sustainable future for a village that was dying and jobs, training and work experience for local young people.”


Providing more than a dozen young people full or part-time work, the pub is currently run by manager Mark Harris along with head chef Sarah Cowley.


Director and co-founder of The Rural Business Awards, Anna Price, said: “The 2019/20 Awards have seen record numbers of entries and it’s encouraging to see so many rural businesses express a desire to celebrate their successes on a regional and national scale.

The Pheasant at Neenton while derelict

"We are passionate about creating a nurturing environment where rural businesses can develop, and this starts by showcasing the great work they do. On behalf of everyone at the Rural Business Awards, we want to say well done to the Pheasant at Neenton, and all the shortlisted businesses, and wish them luck ahead of the regional finals.”

The competition is being run in partnership with Amazon and this year will be the fifth time the awards have taken place.

They aim to celebrate the success of businesses across the UK's rural economy – a segment which employs more than 3.4 million people in over 750,000 businesses in England alone.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.


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