More than a Pub

More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme

Want to take ownership of your local pub and run it for the benefit of the community? Need help getting it into community hands?

The More than a Pub programme provides business development support to enable the community ownership of pubs in both rural and urban communities across England.

Funded by Power to Change and led by the Plunkett Foundation, the More than a Pub programme has taken over 600 enquiries and supported 45 pubs to open under community ownership.

Programme Update 1.05.2020

Due to covid-19 the MTAP programme has been re-focused to support the needs of trading community pub businesses in England, alongside those community pub groups who have already received support from the MTAP programme.
Please note:

  • No new groups will be accepted on to the programme, but please continue to contact Plunkett as we will try to assist you through our other programmes.‌
  • Groups already receiving support through MTAP can apply for additional elements/support.‌
  • This programme continues to only be able to support community pubs in England.‌
  • This programme continues to only support community owned/run pubs or groups looking to take over their local pub as a community business.

Plunkett Foundation continues to support groups at all stages of their community pub journey, from an idea through to trading and beyond. For all community pubs enquiries please contact info@plunkett.co.uk or call 01993 810730

This programme is delivered in partnership with the following organisations:

What does the programme offer?

The programme offers a wide range of support for groups who wish to take ownership of their local pub and run it for the benefit of their local community:

  • Small grants – To help trading community pubs in England to adjust their activities, to provide redesigned services and community support in response to the Covid-19 restrictions, small grants of up to £2,000 have been made available. Groups will be contacted directly regarding the grants, but if you haven’t heard from us and would like to know more please email info@plunkett.co.uk. Read the FAQs here. The small grants will close on Monday 6th July at 9am.
  • Quick response Adviser guidance – Our Adviser team is now able to provide quick responses to queries from trading community pub groups in England. They will be able to help you with the most pressing issues caused by the covid-19 lockdown – whether that be financial, managerial or governance challenges. We have removed our forms to enable you to access the information you require fast. Email info@plunkett.co.uk
  • Weekly Zoom meetings – These meetings are for community pubs at any stage to discuss the issues they face, share information and receive the latest updates from PTC and Plunkett Foundation. Joining information can be found here. Available for all.

Online events/webinars – We are continuing to develop online content for you to access live or in your own time. These are free and available for all community pub groups, at any stage of their journey. New webinars are being created in direct response to the needs of the community pub sector – click here for our event programme. Previous sessions are available here and cover topics such as Social Investment Tax Relief, hosting an AGM during covid-19, accessing a public works loan and how to run a community share offer whilst abiding by covid-19 restrictions. Available for all.

Resources – We are continuing to create new resources, case studies, information guides, blogs and films to help you develop your community pub projects. These are all available on the Plunkett website, found here. Most recently we have added a blog from Dave Hollings at The Dog Inn, Belthorn covering how to access government funding, an SITR guidance note and a funding information guide. Available for all.

Adviser support – Our Advisers are continuing to provide support (but this is now delivered remotely) across a vast range of topics from fund raising and community shares, to governance, hosting AGMs, community engagement, diversifying services, business planning and financial forecasting.

Bursaries – Up to £2,500 is available for early stage groups, who have already received Adviser support through the MTAP programme, to cover set-up costs such as legal structure incorporation, community engagement costs (printing, advertising etc.) and meeting costs (using online platforms). Email info@plunkett.co.uk to request a bursary application.

  • On-site Adviser support
  • In-person events
  • Loan & Grant funding
  • Support to new community pub groups (but please continue to contact Plunkett)

Useful Links

  • Covid-19 Live – Please do check the Covid-19 Live pages of the website for the most up to date information from our partners, government, funders and Senior Management Team.
  • Community Pubs Network – Please utilise the Community Pubs Network on Facebook. This is an incredible platform of supportive and knowledgeable individuals.
  • Community Pubs MembershipCommunity Pubs Membership provides access to discounted utilities and services through collective buying power, it also enable us to represent the sector please ensure you are making the most of your membership by checking suppliers and getting your communities voice heard.

Why community pubs?

Community pubs are owned by members (sometimes known as shareholders) and are run democratically on the basis of one-member-one-vote. Membership is voluntary, affordable, and open to all in a community, and is the mechanism for ensuring the community has a genuine say in how the business is run. This is what gives community pubs longevity, as member control and input ensures the pub business is continually adapting and serving the needs of its members and wider community.

Community pubs are thriving where private enterprise has failed; almost a quarter of privately-owned pubs have shut down since 2008 (Office of National Statistics, 2018), but community pubs have a 100% success rate (Community Pubs Better Business Report, 2018). Community pubs also play a vital role in reducing loneliness and social isolation, providing a range of community focused activities and services, as well as being a community space for all.

Case studies

Below, you can find a selection of case studies from community pubs supported under the first round of the More than a Pub programme:

The Craufurd Arms, Maidenhead

View the case study here

The Duke of Marlborough, Somersham

View the case study here

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

View the case study here

The Harrow, Kent

View the case study here

The New Inn, Norton Lindsey

View the case study here

During the coronavirus lockdown community pubs have been sharing their experiences and advice with a series of More Than A Pub videos:

Need some help?

If you are interested in receiving support from the More Than a Pub programme, please do contact us and we will get back in touch very shortly.

Contact us