The new hotline, part-funded with £20,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government, will offer advice and information to local people who want to take on their local pub by setting it up as a co-operative.
Co-operative pubs are established on a ‘one member, one vote’ rather than ‘one share, one vote’ basis giving everyone a say in how they want their local pub to be run. The, a co-operative pub aims to generate profits which can be reinvested back into the premises, and used to support community projects or given to members as dividends.
Lewis launched the hotline, which is also part-funded and run by the Plunkett Foundation, by joining locals and owners at Green Man pub in Toppesfield, Essex, a co-operative pub.
Community pubs minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are determined to support communities across the country step in, claim a stake and invest in the future of their local pub. The Community Right to Bid is already giving local people more power to get involved and this new phone line will give communities access to information, expertise, and the tools they need to convert their local pub into a co-operative enterprise for generations to come.
“The locals served by the Green Man have shown just how important their pub is to them and how it can thrive and grow for the benefit of the whole community”
Peter Couchman, chief executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “The Co-operative Pubs Advice Line is an important part of the support required by communities in rural and urban areas looking to run their local pub as a co-operative. We hope that by raising awareness of the co-operative model as a solution we will inspire confidence in communities to help themselves and save what is important to them.”
The hotline is 01993 810730.