The More Than a Pub initiative will receive £650,000 to provide grants and advice to groups beginning the process of buying a site under community ownership.
Not-for-profit Pub is the Hub will be granted £500,000 to help rural pubs set up services such as post offices, shops and libraries.
Secretary of State for Communities Robert Jenrick said the necessity of these programmes was more apparent than ever over the Christmas period – a time when many people experience loneliness.
He said the funding would benefit around 100 communities in their quests to buy their local site or to add new facilities to pubs already under community ownership.
Heart of towns
Jenrick said: “The great British pub is one of the cornerstones of British life. From the Rose & Crown to the King’s Arms, our pubs remain at the very heart of our cities, towns and villages.
“This new funding will boost the number of community-owned pubs and pub-based community services.
“It will offer sustainability and create valuable new jobs in the process, both in our great pubs and within our great communities.
“Pubs run by the community, and for the community, help bring people closer together.
“Importantly, they are a space for older, vulnerable and more isolated residents to access important local services and feel part of their communities.”
Strengthen the fabric
More than 9m people in the UK say they are always or often lonely, according to research by the British Red Cross and Co-op.
Many pubs operate initiatives such as ‘Meet up Mondays’, which bring individuals together for conversations.
Pub is The Hub chief executive John Longden said it was positive to see the Government recognise the social role of pubs and their staff in supporting communities.
He added: “Pubs run by good licensees are part of our national identity and can strengthen the fabric of all communities, particularly in rural areas where they support issues such as loneliness or social isolation.”