Power to Change will provide £2.2m in funding for people looking to save their local pubs through community ownership.
This funding builds on the success of the current More Than a Pub programme, which is jointly funded by Power to Change, an independent trust supporting community businesses in England, and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
The programme is led by Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Key Fund, Co-operative and Community Finance, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub, Locality and the British Beer and Pub Association.
Since 2016 it has supported 190 communities and seen 26 pubs open their doors under community ownership.
Announcing the new funding at Plunkett’s Rural Community Ownership Awards in London on 5 December, Vidhya Alakeson, the chief executive of Power to Change, said: “Community-run pubs are so valuable to the people who use them, offering a huge range of crucial services including lunch clubs for vulnerable people, training and development, gardening and cooking classes and parenting groups.
“The More than a Pub programme we have run with Plunkett has been an enormous success so it was a natural decision for us to continue to support this thriving and much-loved sector.
James Alcock, executive director of Plunkett, added: “This announcement is an endorsement of the role community pubs play in creating thriving communities and will strengthen the community pub sector by providing further support for those working to the tide on pub closures. For many, pubs are not just a place to drink; they are central to peoples’ sense of place and identity, they provide an important space for people to meet and help to build community cohesion.”
Co-operative & Community Finance also welcomed the announcement of a new funding programme. The lender is one of the key partners in the current More Than A Pub programme.
Business development manager Tim Coomer said: “We are delighted by this news, and look forward to working with the partnership in the spring of 2019 to design and develop a programme that builds on the great things that have been achieved so far.”
Community pubs minister Jake Berry said: “Pubs have and will continue to be at the very heart of our communities. The More Than a Pub programme is a fantastic example of communities taking ownership of their local assets, and it’s great to see Power to Change supporting their innovative work for another year. I look forward to the continued partnership work in boosting the ever important agenda of empowering our local communities.”