A new £1.15m fund is being set up to support British pubs, the government has announced.
The funding will help an estimated 100 new groups take ownership of and save their local, or support essential community services based in pubs in rural and remote areas.
Secretary of State for Communities, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “The Great British pub is one of the cornerstones of British life. From the Rose and 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.”
‘Pubs run by good licensees are part of our national identity’
The fund will support community pubs through two key programmes. £650,000 will be allocated to the second More Than a Pub programme.
More Than a Pub provides small grants and specialist advice for community groups at the start of their journey to community ownership. It also supports groups later in the process who require specialist professional advice with larger grants and loans to help with business planning, conveyancing, architectural help, or financial advice.
£500,000 will be allocated to Pub is The Hub to enable a range of projects providing new, pub-based community services, from post offices and shops to libraries and allotments. This will increase the services available in rural and remote communities, and help sustain pubs as community assets and businesses.
John Longden, chief executive of Pub is The Hub, said: “We welcome the government’s recognition of the wider social role that licensees, as small business owners, and their staff can play in supporting and providing additional services and activities to support their local communities.
“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.”