Councils urged to help rural pubs

Related tags Minister john healey Local government act 1972 England

Rural pubs could receive a boost after the government urged councils to provide financial support. Local government minister John Healey has written...

Rural pubs could receive a boost after the government urged councils to provide financial support.

Local government minister John Healey has written to councils across England and Wales asking them to help pubs that provide essential services for rural communities.

He asked councils to use powers under the Local Government Act to offer pubs small business grants.

In the letter, Healey said: "Councils already have a number of powers they can use to support their communities. I have said I want to see more councils using these powers creatively to meet the needs of their communities.

"If there is a good case then there is no reason why they shouldn't support local shops, pubs or other local businesses."

The Pub is the Hub (PITH) scheme, whose patron is Prince Charles, advises councils on how best to support their local pubs and helps licensees to diversify by offering services such as a post office or library.

John Longden, PITH's director, said: "The extra cash can make the difference between a pub staying open or having to close."

He added he was hoping that this kind of financial help could be offered on a national level.

"Rural services provided by good licensees and good pubs can really contribute to the social, economic and environmental value of a community," he said.

To be eligible for the grant a pub must prove they are the principal amenity for their community - so pubs containing a post office or shop, or premises which host parish council meetings and community clubs could apply.

Currently Suffolk, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire are all looking at allowing pubs to apply for the grants.

For more information visit: www.pubisthehub.org.uk

Related topics Legislation

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