Industry welcomes £250m fund to help save community assets including pubs

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Community pubs Big lottery fund National lottery Fundraising

Cameron promises help for community assets
Cameron promises help for community assets
The industry has welcomed plans to award local communities £250m in grants and loans to help them buy pubs, shops and community centres.

Yesterday, David Cameron announced a funding package that would enable people to take over and run buildings and institutions of local interest.

Of the £250m that will be made available by the Big Lottery Fund and Society Capital over the next ten years, £50m will go into a “Community Assets Fund” providing loans and grants to start projects that could be commercially viable over a period of time.

Neil Walker, a Campaign for Real Ale spokesperson said the announcement could not have come at a better time.

“CAMRA's 'List Your Local' campaign aims to get 300 pubs listed as 'assets of community value' around the UK - meaning should the pub be put up for sale the community has six months to generate the funds to buy the pub before it is sold off, or even worse, converted into flats or a supermarket,” he told the PMA.

“We hope this £250m fund will be made easily available to communities looking to save their local pub and will have a positive impact on the number of community pubs being lost across the UK."

Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers echoed Walker’s views: “Access to funding and investment is an acute problem across the sector as a whole and we support any measures which can help businesses maintain their vitality and viability where they are responding to real consumer and market demand.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association described the funding announcement as “very welcome”.

 “We’ve always supported the community right to bid in the Localism Act, to keep valued community pubs open. Grants and loans could help local residents with this process,” she added.

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