Cwmdu Inn, shop and post office, Carmarthenshire, South Wales

Run by the community since 2000, the Cwmdu Inn nestles amongst a terrace of cottages owned by the National Trust with a lease to the community to run the inn and shop.

It is a small, but vibrant, village with a community group Cymdeithas Cwmdu set up to maintain the village’s special qualities by sustaining the pub, shop and post office as a community-owned business. In addition the group organise themed nights, live music, cinema and annual events, as well as hosting clubs, such as its vintage and classic farm machinery and vehicles club.

The inn, shop and post office are run by a combination of paid staff and volunteers, with the number of volunteers increasing for special events. There  are 65 members and shareholders in the community business with the buildings leased for a peppercorn rent.

In addition to everyday essentials the shop sources local and Welsh produce to support its farming community. Orders for fresh, bread and pastries are taken weekly and the inn’s kitchen provides the space for another two local businesses that make chocolate and local honey.

Cwmdu Inn has received advice and support from the Plunkett Foundation, funded by the Dulverton Trust,  for financial planning and staff and volunteer management.

Huw Pritchard, director of the community business and post office volunteer, said: “We are a small village with a couple of dozen houses, but the inn, shop and post office serve the wider farming and small-holders community too. Because we’re so small it’s really important for us to keep our local service. This way villagers don’t need to travel and we can be a greener community too. We all recognise how important and inherently good it is to keep these vital services going for the wider community.”