Community pub campaigners call for ACV protection to last 10 months

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Policy Want

There are now 22 community-run pubs in the UK
There are now 22 community-run pubs in the UK
The Plunkett Foundation has called for changes to Asset of Community Value (ACV) listings, including extending the protected period from six to 10 months.

The foundation, which was set up to help communities run co-operative businesses, also wants an ACV status to trigger an automatic suspension of permitted development rights.

The recommendations are included in a report published on Monday (23 June) which gives the first in-depth profile of the co-operative pub sector in the UK.

It reveals there was a 64% growth in community-run pubs in 2013 and there are now 22 trading across the UK. This is up from just two in 2009. The foundation says there are another 152 projects in the pipeline, including 11 bids to be the first co-operative pub in the West Midlands.

However, the report warns there are still significant challenges to opening a community-run pub, with funding and policy loopholes most notable.

On the latter, the report says that while the introduction Community Right to Bid was a welcome move, the powers are in need of revision.


The foundation has calculated it takes an average of ten months to get from the ideas stage to running the pub and wants the protected period, currently six months, to reflect that.

It has also called for loopholes which allow pubs to be sold as a going concern to be closed and for the abolition of universal powers – which can be used by owners to agree sale before an ACV is agreed and would supersede that designation.

The foundation says it is vital a successful ACV nomination triggers the removal of permitted development rights as soon as it is approved.

A spokeswoman for Plunkett said: “Currently communities are registering pubs as ACV but they can be turned into supermarkets, offices and restaurants despite the ACV registration.”

Other recommendations to policy makers include introducing a separate planning asset class for pubs and promoting ‘pro-pub’ policies as best practice for councils.

The report also asks for a comprehensive package of support to be made available to communities that want to save their pub and for the continuation of Community Development Finance Institutions – particularly for loans of between £20,000 and £50,000.

Co-operative pub sector in numbers

£209,000​ – average amount needed to buy a rural pub

£408,000​ – average to buy an urban pub

59%​ - Percentage of start-up costs that normally come from community shares

£192,902​ – Average turnover for a co-operative pub

67%​ - Percentage where the pub association owns the freehold

0​ – Number of community-run pubs that have closed

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