The Pub Loan Fund - unveiled on-stage at the PMA's Great British Pub Awards in London last night - aims to help community groups take over the running of their local, by providing small loans to start feasibility work, pay for lawyers’ fees or get materials for refurbishment.
Jones said the new fund builds on a number of measures introduced by the Government to help support the British pubs, having already abolished the beer and alcohol duty escalators, cut business taxes and introducing the Community Right to Bid.
Speaking after awards, Jones said: “British pubs have always been at the heart of local communities, with people getting together to enjoy good company and conversation over a pint of beer or glass of wine. But they also support thousands of jobs across all areas of the country, boosting the economy by £21bn a year.
"Now we’re giving our communities the chance to be at the heart of their local with the support they need to put their plans for running a pub into action.”
Already, under community rights, local people can nominate pubs as an asset of community value and then, if it comes up for sale, have six months to raise the funds to buy it. So far more than 800 pubs have been listed.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said further details about the fund would be announced in due course.
The fund was a Conservative manifesto commitment in the 2015 General Election.