Community Ownership

Community ownership plays an important role, because, when a much-loved or neglected pub closes or goes up for sale, it can often be one of the last community services in the area.

It can be an emotional blow as well as one that can seriously affect the future local economy and community infrastructure; nowhere to meet, no focus for community life and no community cohesion.

Galvanised into action, some communities can be a successful force; bringing creativity, business acumen and hands-on support into one powerful and vocal group. Many groups have uniquely pulled together to own and run their pub but equally over 70% of groups do not take, or are not able to take their plans through to fruition.

Can your community run the local pub?

Like so many across the UK, we want to ensure that pubs and other rural services remain pillars of the community.  We have an advisor who can help specifically on community ownership projects. As an organisation we cannot advise your group on legal or business decisions but we can help local communities to mobilise; giving them the options they need to strengthen and support their local services by taking ownership of their local pub.

Pub is The Hub has already supported and advised a large number of communities who have undertaken such projects. Although only a small number of groups actually go ahead with their plans to buy or run their local pub, for the ones that have taken the plunge, the results have been inspirational.  There are, however, serious responsibilities involved and it has to be for the long term – not a romantic local dream – hard work is involved.

Take a look at some of the past community ownerships projects in our case studies section to find out more. Contact details are included in the case studies so you can communicate directly with other community groups to see how they got on.

You will soon be able to download a pack with more information about the various options on how your group could form itself into a legal entity and what sort of ownership opportunities are available to suit you – or you can call the office and request a printed version to be sent to you.

Fancy running your own pub?

Feel free to watch our video and see how one Gloucestershire community took ownership of their local pub and the challenges involved!

The Community Right To Bid

community-right-to-bidThe Community Right to Bid was created in the Localism Act in September 2012 across the country. This means that communities can ‘stop-the clock’ on the sale of valuable local assets and amenities like post offices, village shops or community pubs, giving them time to put in a bid of their own and protect it for the wider benefits of the community.

The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of ‘Assets of Community Value’, pausing the sale of a successfully listed asset for six-months, giving communities the opportunity and time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously a community has had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over.

For more information about what these powers could mean for your community visit ‘My Community Rights’

In summary, it means that:

  • Communities can apply to get a range of local assets registered as ‘assets of community value’.
  • If a registered asset of community value goes up for sale, communities will have 6 weeks to express an interest in taking on the asset and fulfilling some of the criteria.
  • If approved they will have a total of 6 months during which the asset cannot be sold to anyone, while communities develop plans and raise finance.
  • At the end of the six month ‘protected period’ the asset owner can then sell to whomever they like – this does not mean that communities can force a sale.
  • Although it will not make the process easier for all communities in all instances, it should certainly significantly help some communities register their keen interest.


To find out more about what to consider before applying for community ownership, along with details on which scheme is right for you, contact our office for more information, or visit websites such as CAMRA and Plunkett.