Pub is The Hub is set to expand its activities promoting community pubs with the help of a donation from CAMRA in December last year.
The Campaign has made a donation of £18,000 to the organisation which helps licensees diversify into new business building activities. The money was raised from the proceeds of the sale of tickets for last year’s CAMRA’s annual raffle purchased by over 2,500 people.
John Longden, Chief Executive for Pub is The Hub said: “Like so many across the UK, we want to ensure that pubs and other rural services remain pillars of the community, so we have an advisor who can help specifically on community ownership projects. As an organisation we cannot advise groups on their legal or business decisions but we can help local communities to mobilise; giving them the tools 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 around 10% 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. You can see a short film about The Fleece in Hillesley here http://www.pubisthehub.org.uk/videos when they re-opened their village pub last summer.
The advisor for community groups is Mike Clayton who has nearly 40 year career experience in the Pub and Brewing industry at Senior Management and Director Level and has been involved with the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping), the professional body for licensees, since its creation 30 years ago. Over the last year he has worked with over 100 community groups considering the options for re-opening or taking over their local or village pub and a very small number actually get the scheme off the ground.
Mike added: “We were thrilled with the interest shown by CAMRA in the work that we have been doing for community ownership and delighted to accept their donation. We plan to pull together a much more detailed range of services and information for community groups as well as creating a database of community owned pubs in the UK so that we can share best practice and communicate with the communities and property owners to achieve common goals.”
Currently Pub is The Hub offers initial advice and inspiration through their website information and case studies: http://www.pubisthehub.org.uk/community_ownership