Community ownership groups get together in North Wales

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Pub is The Hub will host its first meeting for community-owned pubs on 24th January in North Wales at The Raven Inn, Llanarmon-yn-Ial in Denbighshire.

Four groups that are already running their own pubs will join representatives from two community groups looking at the possibility of taking on their local pubs.

Malcolm Harrison, a director for Pub is The Hub said that the idea was to share best practice. He added: “We were approached by a couple of groups who felt it would be beneficial to share ideas and in doing so discovered a number of community owned pubs in a relatively small area of the country. My colleague and specialist in this area, Mike Clayton, has worked with over 100 community groups in the last year alone to advise and steer them through the variety of ownership and operational models.”

He continued: “We are also very clear that we are not in the business of saving pubs – each pub business must be viable for the community group to be able to survive and we are very careful to point out the pitfalls and considerable time and effort required to run and maintain a community pub.”

Hosting the meeting, The Raven Inn has been run by the community since August 2009. A company ‘limited by guarantee’ was set up to run the pub, Raven Mad Ltd and the pub is staffed by volunteers. Any profits can only be used to fund village community projects.

Saith Seren (Welsh for Seven Stars) in Wrexham re-opened a year ago as a pub Welsh food, real ale and language classes as well as meeting places upstairs. The pub is run by a voluntary organisation called Canolfan Gymraeg Wrecsam Cyfyngedig (CCWC), a bonafide co-operative Industrial and Provident Society that leases the pub and pays a manager and small team of five staff to operate the place.

Any other community group interested in joining the meeting can contact Pub is The Hub on 01423 546165 for more information.