A PUB in Dorset which helped residents during the coronavirus pandemic has now converted a shipping container into a village shop.

The Rose & Crown, based in Longburton, has opened a village shop called The Larder, in the pub’s car park.

It offers a range of essentials such as bread, meat, organic milk, fresh fruit, vegetables as well as takeaway coffee.

The Rose & Crown, received a Community Services Fund grant of £3,000 from Pub is The Hub to help to provide this shop, which will save residents travelling three miles to Sherborne.

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation which helps pubs to diversify with services for the local community.

Publicans Becky and John Gibbons took over the running of the pub four years ago.

The lockdown spurred the family to finish the shop project, which became increasingly important during the pandemic.

The owners of the pub rallied to help vulnerable and shielding customers by delivering takeaways and supplies.

Becky Gibbons said: “The village has an ageing population as well as a lot of young families who need the support of a local shop.

“When we were in lockdown we realised that we really needed the shop in place to help those in the community.

“The locals love that we have opened a local amenity and have been really supportive.”

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Reg Clarke said: “This converted shipping container really offers the wow factor for those in the local area that need essential supplies.

“The Rose & Crown is a great village pub that really offers everything to its local community. This development has reinforced the pub as the hub of the village.”

The Larder is open Monday to Friday 9am till 3pm and on 9am till 1pm on Saturdays.

The pub already has an outreach Post Office on site, which is open on Friday afternoons. It also offers breakfast and brunch from 8am till 1pm from a converted rice trailer in the car park.