A VILLAGE pub on the outskirts of Chester is serving the community in new ways following its transformation.

The White Horse Inn, Great Barrow has been a hub of the community and a rest place for weary travellers since the 18th century.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK and pubs were closed with immediate effect, landlady Paula Richards and her partner Darren Laurence set to revamping the pub so it would still be a valuable community asset.

The priorities were to save the pub for future generations, to save the business for themselves and their staff and to find a way to best serve their community.

With a bus service that only runs twice a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the bus stop a mile from the centre of the village and no shop in the village, something had to and could be done.

Overnight the White Horse transformed from pub, restaurant and rooms to local shop, deliveries and takeaway food.

Paula said: "We have some fabulous suppliers – North West Produce, Duttons of Kelsall, Briscoes Dairy plus wholesale deliveries twice a week – so we thought the best thing to do was make this produce available to the people in the village.

"We’re stocking meat, veg and dairy and we’re adding to the list all the time; the folk in the village have been so supportive and their messages of support have helped lift our spirits, we feel blessed."

As well as the food in stock, there’s also a takeaway menu that changes regularly, but includes a Sunday roast, and if anyone is self isolating the team at the White Horse will deliver.

All payment is contactless and every precaution is being taken.

Darren added: "It’s been overwhelming, we’re working very long days, there’s a good deal of self isolaters in the village; we really want to help them, or we couldn’t sleep at night."

The team received a card from a local which read: "Just to say a huge thank you for the excellent service you provide."