Over the last 10 years, the UK has lost nearly 8000 pubs – around a fifth of all pubs nationally. For many communities, pubs are not just a place to eat and drink; they are central to people’s sense of place and identity and they foster belonging and community cohesion. In rural areas pub closures can represent the loss of the last community meeting space and trading facility.
The programme will increase the number of community-owned pubs open and trading and will grow the range of services they offer to help the wider community and address local issues. Services provided by community pubs could include a shop, post office, library, internet café, cash point, police surgeries, lunch clubs for the elderly, prescription services and informal meeting spaces for a range of community activities such as sports teams, choirs, live music and walking groups.
The programme offers funding and support to community groups who wish to take ownership of their local pub and who need help to develop their ideas and plans. We specifically wish to work with groups committed to delivering a pub for the benefit of the wider community.