Wigan venue The Old Courts in final of national pubs prize

The Old Courts delivered hundreds of food parcels during lockdownThe Old Courts delivered hundreds of food parcels during lockdown
The Old Courts delivered hundreds of food parcels during lockdown
It has been nominated for its work supporting the community during lockdown.

The Old Courts, which has two bars as part of the arts and cultural centre created in the town’s Victorian former seat of justice, is one of 10 watering holes on the shortlist for the Community Pub Hero Awards,

Organised by PubAid and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, the contest was created to reward venues which have gone above and beyond to support others in the local area even while the hospitality industry has faced uncertainty.

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The Old Courts has made the list after its team, led by licensee Rebecca Davenport, delivered 700 food parcels to local people in need and a further 10,000 packed lunches to children during school holidays.

The Bailiff Bar at The Old CourtsThe Bailiff Bar at The Old Courts
The Bailiff Bar at The Old Courts

They also made more than 900 phone calls to isolated residents.

The Old Courts also collected unwanted musical instruments to give to children who couldn’t afford them.

Nationwide, 115 pubs entered the Community Pub Hero Awards, the majority nominated by their local MP.

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Entries were judged by a panel of industry experts and the overall Community Pub Hero will be announced later this spring.

PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “Our heartfelt congratulations go to the Old Courts.

Landlords and landladies and their teams have offered invaluable support for communities during the pandemic, whether offering vital supplies for residents, cooking hot meals for the elderly or countering social isolation through online quizzes or chats.

“Choosing the 10 finalists was a real challenge for the judges, as every pub who entered had a strong story to tell.

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“Those who have reached the shortlist should be very proud of their achievement.”

Richard Hayhoe, marketing director at competition sponsor Matthew Clark, added: “The fantastic work done by so many licensees and teams during the lockdowns and periods of restricted trading over the last year have provided a vital lifeline to countless people, and prove that pubs are genuinely a force for good in their communities.”

Formerly the Charity Pub of the Year, the award was reshaped and renamed this year to recognise community support by pubs and licenced premises during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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