£2.2m funding for community-run pubs announced

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Funding: £2.2m for community pubs available
Funding: £2.2m for community pubs available

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A lifeline of over £2m has been thrown to a burgeoning segment of the pub trade today in the form of funding programme Power to Change, which has been set up to help communities save their local pubs.

According to the body, the community pub sector is not only thriving but also bucking the wider industry decline.

Almost a quarter of privately owned pubs have closed their doors since 2008, yet it claimed 100% of community-owned pubs have survived.

With 96 pubs having been opened by local communities, many more are working with current programme More than a Pub to have their locals listed as assets of community value under community rights.

“Opening a pub under community ownership not only protects a valuable asset but also brings a wealth of social benefits and improves the wellbeing of local people, including those who are socially excluded or isolated in the wider community,” said a Power to Change statement.

Community services

“Community pubs offer a range of services ranging from retail and post office, social clubs and volunteering opportunities.”

Funding through the new programme will become available from summer 2019, with further details expected to be announced in the spring.

The announcement builds on the success of the current More Than a Pub programme, which was jointly funded by Power to Change and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, led by the Plunkett Foundation.

Further support came from the Key Fund, Co-operative and Community Finance, the Campaign for Real Ale, Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub, Locality, and the British Beer and Pub Association.

Following today’s announcement (6 December), Power to Change chief executive Vidhya Alakeson said: “Community-run pubs are so valuable to the people who use them, offering a huge range of crucial services including lunch clubs for vulnerable people, training and development, gardening and cooking classes, and parenting groups.

“The More Than a Pub programme we have run with Plunkett has been an enormous success so it was a natural decision for us to continue to support this thriving and much-loved sector.”

Community pubs in communities

Executive director of the Plunkett Foundation James Alcock hailed the announced £2.2m funding as an “endorsement of the role” community pubs play in creating and maintaining thriving communities.

Alcock also highlighted that pubs are not just places to drink, but are central to people’s sense of place and identity through their provision of spaces for people to meet.

Jake Berry, community pubs minister, said: “Pubs have been, and will continue to be, at the very heart of our communities.

“The More Than a Pub programme is a fantastic example of communities taking ownership of their local assets, and it’s great to see Power to Change supporting their innovative work for another year.

“I look forward to the continued partnership work in boosting the ever-important agenda of empowering our local communities.”

Related topics: Property law

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