Free BII membership for community groups

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Pub is The Hub has teamed up with the BII to offer a bespoke membership package to community groups looking to buy or operate their own local pub.

For the past four years, Pub is The Hub has been advising and supporting many community groups at the initial decision-making stage regarding ownership, fundraising and the options for forming themselves into a legal entity. Now in a new partnership with the BII community groups will be able to access on-going business support in training, business development and advice on day-to-day operational issues and responsibilities.

The package from the BII includes: a year’s free membership with all the benefits that entails (free legal helpline, buying group, online support tools etc.); free online pre-entry awareness training (PEAT) for one member of the group and support from the pool of ex-BII Licensees of the Year who will act as mentors for the group.

Letters and information packs have been sent to groups who have succeeded in taking over their local pub in the past 12 months and a trial mentoring exercise is currently in progress with the first community owned Freehouse in Lancashire, The Dog Inn at Belthorn near Blackburn.

Kathryn Sharpe, a nurse by profession, is the secretary to the Board who run The Dog Inn at Belthorn and has found the mentoring exercise invaluable saying: “None of us have ever run a pub before so we are just learning as we go. This membership provides us with access to people who can help and I can’t tell you what a relief that is.”

John Longden, Chief Executive for Pub is The Hub said: “As an organisation we have stopped short of offering groups business advice regarding operational matters as that did not fall into our area of expertise but in this unique partnership with the BII we know that this year’s complimentary membership opens up a world of essential and professional hands-on support, particularly in that first crucial trading year.”

Mike Clist, Managing Director for the BII said “We have long been supporters of Pub is the Hub and are delighted to develop this even further with the community groups receiving BII Membership.  This will give them access to our full range of member benefits which include legal, licensing, HR helplines as well as preferential supplier discounts, support tools and mentors to give them the best possible start to their pub business.”

Pub is The Hub has already supported and advised over 200 communities on the options available in the last four years and many have undertaken such projects. Only around 25-30% of groups actually go ahead with their original plans to buy or run their local pub.

Photograph shows: John Longden from Pub is The Hub and Mike Clist from the BII.