New report highlights social value of pubs to communities

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Adapting offer: Becky and John Gibbons run the Rose & Crown in Longburton, Dorset and converted a shipping container into a village store amid the pandemic, which was opened with the help of Pub is the Hub's Community Services Fund
Adapting offer: Becky and John Gibbons run the Rose & Crown in Longburton, Dorset and converted a shipping container into a village store amid the pandemic, which was opened with the help of Pub is the Hub's Community Services Fund

Related tags: Social responsibility, pub is the hub, Community, Branding + marketing

New research has revealed the social value of pubs to their communities through providing local services.

The Social Value of Pubs and Publicans providing Services in their Communities ​report measured the social impact of pub services.

Social value looks at the broad impact an organising is achieving with its work and takes into account the wider social, economic and environmental wellbeing benefits a service or project can bring to the area.

The research, which was conducted by Cornwall Rural Community Charity, found for every £1 spent on a project through Pub is the Hub Community Services Fund, during the first lockdown, between £8.98 and £9.24 of social value was created.

This means a pub which has undertaken a diversification project with a grant of £3,000 from the fund could create more than £27,000 in social value to its local area.

Vital services

The fund has been running for the past eight years and provides small grants in a bid to help pubs diversify.

It has assisted 160 pubs to date, with more than 30 different types of services including village stores, Post Offices, allotments, community cafés and libraries with further projects on the horizon.

Some 25 Covid response pub projects were analysed, including a bakery, food delivery services, a workshop and village stores.

Pub is the Hub chief executive John Longden said: “It proves how vital these services have been during the pandemic.

“Covid-19 has reinforced the importance of pubs and good publicans in helping local people. Publicans were often the first in their community to rise to the challenges and recognise the issues local residents were facing.

“The important social impact of publicans’ responses to local needs has often been essential to get people through the pandemic.

“As the market fully reopens publicans and pubs are going to be crucial in helping local areas rebuild as well as aiding Government priorities for economic recovery.”

Positive results

Cornwall Rural Community Charity development and evaluation manager Gemma Finnegan, who conducted the research, outlined how important she believed the information was.

She said: “We are very proud of this piece of work that has highlighted the important social value of pub services during the first lockdown.

“This is the first time social value methodology has been applied to pub diversification projects and the results have been really positive, demonstrating the wider role publicans and pubs play in their communities.

“What is interesting is the major impact Pub is the Hub projects have had in local areas and communities with only a small grant.”

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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