Pub is the Hub has officially launched its Community Champions programme, which aims to help pubs become local community service champions.
Director John Longden has spent recent months talking to local councils to get them on board.
"The Community Champions programme is an initiative that will pull in local authorities, identify their priorities for rural services and encourage them to support pubs in providing those services," he said.
A series of practical workshops — between seven and 11 in the first year of the three-year programme — will invite licensees to sit down with their council, local people and suppliers to talk about what needs to be done and how they can all help each other.
"It could be a lunch club for elderly people, a small shop selling locally grown vegetables and other products, a room for community use and activities during the day or to provide a broadband hot-spot," said Longden.
Backed by a three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund, the first workshop in Essex will be followed by events in south Norfolk, Suffolk, North Yorkshire, Cornwall and Lancashire.
"What they decide to do will vary," said Longden.