Village pub could reopen as soon as the spring

The Swan Gressenhall Community team his fundraising to buy and renovate this pub. They have just p

The White Swan in Gressenhall could open as soon as March 2022 - Credit: Archant

Efforts to get a village pub ready for its grand reopening are in full swing after it was successfully taken over by members of the community. 

Work is well under way at The White Swan in Gressenhall, near Dereham, which was purchased last year by Gressenhall Community Enterprise (GCE).

The White Swan in Gressenhall

The White Swan in Gressenhall - Credit: Archant

The group raised £260,000 in community shares and received a £100,000 grant from the Plunkett Foundation - allowing it to buy the pub from its previous owner. 

GCE picked up the keys in January and, since then, a complete redesign of the interior has been taking place. 

Alex Begg, chairman of the Gressenhall Community Enterprise Group, revealed a team of local contractors and volunteers had been "incredibly busy" throughout the year. 

"They are really going to bring the pub to life and help it reach its true potential," added Mr Begg.

Alex Begg, chairman of the Gressenhall Community Enterprise Group

Alex Begg, chairman of the Gressenhall Community Enterprise Group - Credit: Archant

"We're delivering some amazing structural look-and-feel improvements.

"We've got this fantastic paintwork on the outside, the flooring is going down on the inside, and it's starting to transition from being a building site to what's going to be an enjoyable place to spend time."

Having started afresh with plumbing, plastering and everything in between, the team behind The White Swan's transformation are not doing anything by halves.

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Plans are afoot to provide additional seating in a rear building, which will also accommodate an authentic pizza oven. 

(1/3 EDI) The Swan public house beside the green in Gressenhall.

The White Swan in Gressenhall pictured several years ago - Credit: Archant

And, crucially, GCE is in the process of recruiting a team to run the pub.

With a cautiously optimistic opening date of next March, Mr Begg lifted the lid on what punters can expect. 

He said: "Customers will walk from our lovely village green up the front path and through the porch, where you will be met by a lovely roaring fire. You'll be looking straight at the bar as we've moved the entrance back to its original position. 

"You can expect to locally-sourced, classic pub food, and some quality and warm service."

The Swan Gressenhall Community team his fundraising to buy and renovate this pub. They have just p

The Swan Gressenhall Community team his fundraising to buy and renovate this pub. They have just passed an important milestone in fundraising. Alex Begg. - Credit: Archant

While excited to have reached the home straight, Mr Begg emphasised that patience is key. 

"It has been a slow burn," he added. "We've gone through all the planning and a lot of the doing, and now we are at this really exciting stage.

"It's coming, but we have to make sure we do it right."

An artist's impression of what The Swan in Gressenhall could look like following a £150,000 redevelo

An artist's impression of what The Swan in Gressenhall could look like following a £150,000 redevelopment. Picture: Courtesy of Gressenhall Community Enterprise - Credit: Archant