The Raven Inn, Llanarmon

Village pub identified as key to rural cohesion

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In a new academic research project the authors have concluded that rural pubs play a significant role within local communities and it clearly identifies pubs as the main centres for social activities and engagement, in a context frequently characterised by reduced facilities and opportunities.

The authors, Dr Ignazio Cabras of Newcastle Business School, York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis and Dr Matthew Mount of Leeds University Business School hope the report will raise awareness about the decline of rural pubs and the huge loss associated with their disappearance in the countryside.

Funded by The British Academy, Cabras and Mount chose to look into which factors enable the fostering and development of community and social cohesion.  They hypothesized that pubs could work as main incubators for community cohesion and social wellbeing and they applied econometric techniques in order to measure the relationship between pubs and community cohesion in rural communities, something that nobody has done before.

In addition, the collection of data about services and amenities available in rural England has ceased about 14 years ago, so the data presented in their report has been collected and collated from different sources, generating an original dataset that is not available anywhere else.

The study concluded in Spring this year after 18 months work and was submitted to British Academy in April 2014.

John Longden, Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub commented: “Whilst there is no direct link with the study and Pub is The Hub, the aims and objectives of both are complementary and confirming the significance of these businesses in the British rural context.

“In rural areas pubs act as essential melting pots for bringing the community together from all walks of life and this study concludes that it is yet another vital services that the countryside cannot afford to lose.”

In addition, the study confirms once again the scarcity of data available for pubs in England and the UK. Until 2007, the ONS collected data about pubs classifying them with regard the type of ownership/management. After 2007, this classification disappeared and now pubs are counted within a broader category which includes restaurants, bars and other types of licensees.

For the Executive Summary of the report please click here.

For the full 66 page report please contact Dr Ignazio Cabras BSc  MSc  PgC  PhD 01904 325343 / 0191 2277407, or email: