Plunkett announces a new Scottish Community Pubs Partnership to help community groups across Scotland to safeguard their well-loved pubs through community-ownership.

Thanks to funding from Scottish Government, the new partnership will be led by the Plunkett Foundation, working with Community Shares Scotland and Cooperative Development Scotland.

The Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Network Unit is providing funding to support more pubs to become community-owned in 2022. Plunkett will work alongside Community Shares Scotland and Co-operative Development Scotland to support the growing community pubs network in Scotland through a series of free training events, expert advice and networking activities.

This work has been launched in response to the increasing number of people, from across Scotland, interested in learning about how they can come together and buy their local pub for local benefit.

A community-owned pub is run by its residents for its local residents and delivers, not only, a place to eat and drink, but brings people together, provides jobs, training and volunteering opportunities and additional essential services, such as a post office, shop or library. Under community-ownership they become ‘More than a Pub’ helping villages tackle issues of isolation, loneliness and helping them to thrive in the long term. Pubs and community groups supported by the new Scottish Community Pubs Partnership will be encouraged to place their communities at the very heart of their activities.

The support for community groups will include free training opportunities, such as expert business and financial advice for groups just setting-up and those already open and trading. Two on-line workshops will take place on 28 February and 21 March 2022 and invites all those interested in learning more about community-ownership of their local pub to attend. Groups can also find out about the available support by contacting or helpline 0845 557 1469.

Claire Spendley, Head of Community Business at Plunkett Foundation, said: “In the last 25 years we’ve helped over 800 community-owned businesses begin trading and witnessed the benefits that these inspirational businesses can bring to a local area. We’re incredibly excited to help grow the number of community pubs in Scotland at a time when their communities really do need them the most. Community-ownership not only saves a pub from closure, but it brings people together, it improves community-spirit, it is inclusive and can help a rural village, and the people that depend on it, to thrive.”

Head of CDS and Scottish Enterprise head of business models Clare Alexander said: “Community ownership is becoming increasingly popular as towns and villages grapple with the effects of the pandemic on the very businesses that often help people stay connected. Pubs can act as hubs within these communities by hosting social activities and vital services for people who could otherwise become isolated. We also know that community-owned businesses are more resilient and promote fairer work practices, to the benefit of everyone involved.”

Morven Lyon, Community Shares Scotland Programme Manager, said: “More and more Scottish groups are realising the benefits offered by community shares, and collective community-ownership of assets such as pubs. This partnership offers a huge opportunity to create more multi-service, multi-benefit hubs at the heart of communities right across Scotland”

For community groups requiring further information and FREE advice contact the Plunkett Foundation or helpline 01993 630022.

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