Pub is the Hub has reported a big increase in the number of community groups wanting to take on pubs.
The rural pub regeneration group fielded 11 inquiries from community group representatives in the first six weeks of 2011, compared to 25 during the whole of 2010.
"It seems as if the pace has increased quite substantially in the past few months," said Mike Clayton, former Jennings Brothers managing director and now an advisor to Pub is the Hub.
"It could be because there are more pubs that have had to close their doors."
The idea of communities taking on local services such as pubs — a key part of David Cameron's Big Society agenda — is included in the new Localism Bill and has received widespread publicity.
Clayton added: "The profile has certainly been raised and that may well have resulted in more people saying, 'we want to help our local pub'."
Around one in five inquiries to Pub is the Hub are from community groups, Clayton said.
The group, which has Prince Charles as its patron, is in talks with major pubcos about devising leases specifically for community groups to take on viable pubs that are under threat.