Hollington pub's vending machine replaces village shop

Peter Wilkinson The vending machines are made in Belgium and are popular in Europe

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The landlord of a pub in the Staffordshire Moorlands thinks he may have found a replacement for the disappearing village shop.

Peter Wilkinson has installed a vending machine outside the Raddle Inn at Hollington which serves bread, milk, eggs, bacon and butter.

He came up with the idea after failing to get planning permission from the local council for a shop in his pub.

The last shop in Hollington closed almost 20 years ago in 1992.

"Pubs need to diversify," said 56-year-old Mr Wilkinson.

The nearest place to buy supplies is in Tean, three miles away.

Pub is the Hub

With only one bus a week, it is not so easy for some villagers to make the journey.

Mr Wilkinson said that the vending machine was stocked with only local produce and it was protected by CCTV.

The machines are made in Belgium and are already popular in Europe.

Mr Wilkinson said that, with hundreds of pubs closing down last year in the UK, he was always trying to find new reasons for people to visit his establishment.

"I'm trying to follow with Prince Charles and really make the pub the hub of the village, he said.

"Different income streams is the only way pubs are going to survive in the future."

He has already converted a cottage on the land and built log cabins to provide holiday accommodation.

Prince Charles started the Pub is the Hub initiative in 2001. It encourages rural pub owners to diversify to provide services and support that would otherwise be lost from rural communities.

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