More funding to boost services in village pubs and bring communities together

More than 30 rural communities are set to benefit from new or expanded village services from libraries, shops to post offices all delivered by their local pub

Jake Berry MP in the Woolpack pub, based in Haslingden.

• Government awards £70,000 to support Pub is The Hub to deliver additional village services
• Call on pub companies to match government support and help village locals across the country

More than 30 rural communities are set to benefit from new or expanded village services from libraries, shops to post offices all delivered by their local pub, Community Pubs Minister Jake Berry announced today (13 September 2018).

The government has confirmed a further £70,000 of funding for ‘Pub is The Hub’ to support their work in encouraging rural pubs to widen their ‘offer’ beyond food and drink that not only helps pubs to thrive but also helps to bring communities together.

Community Pubs Minister Jake Berry MP said:

"Our great British pubs are not only places for local people to get together over a pint, being at the heart of their communities they are perfectly placed to deliver valuable services, especially in rural areas.

"From postal facilities to community playgrounds, Pub is The Hub provides fantastic support to licensees wishing to diversify, ensuring their pubs are both thriving and firmly rooted in their local communities."

Government funding since 2012 for Pub is The Hub now totals £390,000, including provision for its Community Services Fund to inspire and help local pub licensees understand what locals want for their pubs and deliver these.

This new funding is expected to deliver 36 projects which will help revamp local pubs with services ranging from village shops, libraries, and allotments, post offices to community cafes and cinemas. This will create an estimated 30 full time and 59 part-time/voluntary jobs; benefiting 31,400 local users.

Jake Berry also welcomed £30,000 of additional funding to ‘Pub is The Hub’ from Heineken UK and called on the major players in the pubs and drinks industry, to offer their support to help village locals up and down the country.

John Longden, Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub said:

"The government’s support for the Community Services Fund has been essential to ensure that we can get much needed investment and support to just some of the thriving pubs and their community-minded licensees that want to go the extra mile to support their communities.

"We are always grateful for the faith the government has shown in our initiative but even more so for the amazing small enterprises who take the plunge into diversification to support their neighbourhoods."

Case studies of pubs that have benefited from Pub is The Hub

Swan Inn, Carleton in Craven, North Yorkshire

The licensee at the Swan was keen to create a community space within the pub where villagers and visitors of all ages can enjoy hot drinks and snacks, find local information, access the internet and a printer and meet regularly. Through its Community Services Fund, Pub is The Hub was able to provide advice and funds towards equipment to help provide IT training, adult learning sessions including local history and ancestry as well as a café to host a weekly over 60’s coffee morning.

Saracen’s Head, Shirley, Derbyshire

This long established and highly successful pub/restaurant in the village of Shirley created an essential new service for the village and the surrounding area with a newly incorporated Deli filled with specialist foods including local fruit and vegetables and dairy items, together with home baked goods such as bread, cakes and pastries.

Further information

Pub is the Hub was set up in 2001 with the support of HRH the Prince of Wales, to help improve community services and activities in primarily rural areas.

The organisation is staffed mostly by volunteers and has worked with pub licensees, local authorities, local communities and industry partners to help hundreds of pubs across the country provide a wide range of services and facilities for their local communities.

The government has supported Pub is The Hub with £390,000 of funding since 2013.

For more information on Pub is The Hub and how to access support for your local visit