New funding boost for diversifying pubs

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Pub is The Hub has announced £100k injection of funding for its popular Community Services Fund that will go directly to pubs who are looking to diversify.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has confirmed that it will continue its support for Pub is The Hub’s Community Services Fund for local services projects with a further contribution of £100,000.

This initiative set up by Pub is The Hub was first launched in April 2013 as a ‘fund of last resort’ to help pub licensees wanting to diversify and provide essential services within their local communities. The fund was initiated by the Department of Communities and Local Government with a donation of £170k with further donations from Diageo, Greene King and Marston’s. Then in 2014 Norfolk County Council supported the fund with a donation of £30k for Norfolk-based projects while Greene King and Marston’s made a second donation each to maintain their support.

In just under two years, the Community Services Fund has supported more than 40 projects from Yorkshire to Cornwall and Norfolk to Herefordshire generating new services such as shops, post offices, community centres, libraries, IT support and Wifi access for over 53,000 local people. In addition, the projects have created new jobs and supported local suppliers as well as helping all ages within the community to retain their social cohesion and local spirit.

John Longden Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub said: “This is most encouraging news for licensees wishing to help services within their community and also for our voluntary advisors who provide any help and support they can. We see good licensees can, and do, work with the public, private and voluntary sector to improve the local economy and for every £1 we invest, we are able to leverage at least another £1 from private and public funding.”

“Now, with over thirty new schemes in the pipeline we are delighted to receive this much-needed cash injection to maintain the momentum we have gathered in the first two years.”

Kris Hopkins Community Pubs Minister said: ““Pubs are at the heart of so many of the Britain’s villages and towns which is why we are continuing to fund Pub is The Hub so it can carry on helping rural pubs get involved with their local community.

“Right across the country pubs provide not just hundreds of thousands of jobs but a valuable place for millions of people to get together. This government has played its part doing everything we can to support pubs, including three consecutive beer duty cuts, abolishing the unpopular beer and alcohol escalators, cutting business taxes for pubs and arming people with the power to list their local as an asset of community value.”

Pub is The Hub always works as an independent advisor to communities who are looking at taking over the ownership or operation of their local pub and as such welcomes the support provided by the Department of Communities and Local Government through Pubs of Community Value National Celebration Day on 23rd March 2015. John Longden added: “Pubs seem to galvanise communities – particularly when they are under threat of closure or change of use and recognition of this sort is highly valuable awareness raising initiative for one of our best loved national assets.”