A major new support and finance programme has been announced to help communities take control of local pubs.
More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a £3.62 million initiative that aims to support 80 community-owned pubs to open over two years.
Jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Power to Change, the programme will be led by Plunkett Foundation and delivered in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality.
A flexible package of business development support, advice and loan and grant funding will be delivered, including access to an advice line, events, workshops, peer-to-peer study visits, and business development advice.
“The Great British pub is a national treasure and this new £3.6 million programme will give our communities support to keep pubs at the heart of local life,” said community pubs minister Marcus Jones MP, who announced the programme.
“We have already abolished the unpopular beer and alcohol duty escalators, cut business taxes for pubs and given people the power to list their local as an asset of community value.
“Today’s announcement is one step further in protecting pubs as we listen to local communities and provide support on issues that matter to them – this is real devolution in action.”
Forty communities have already successfully taken ownership of their local pub, and a further 1,250 have been listed as assets of community value.
One example is the Anglers’ Rest in Bamford, Derbyshire, which was purchased in 2013 by over 300 people from the local area and is now run for community benefit. The pub is also home to a cafe and the local Post Office, and acts as a community meeting venue. Any profits are reinvested back into the local community.
“This programme will significantly increase the number of community-owned pubs opening and trading, bringing far-reaching benefits to local people,” said Peter Couchman, chief executive of Plunkett Foundation. “For many communities, pubs are not just a place to drink; they are central to peoples’ sense of place and identity, they provide an important place for people to meet and help to build community cohesion.”
- To find out more about the programme please call the programme advice line on 01993 810730 or visit the programme website.