More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme Launches for England

This £3.62 million two-year programme has been set up to support community ownership of pubs in England. It is jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Power to Change Trust and will be managed by the Plunkett Foundation in partnership with other groups.

The programme is seeking applications from communities looking to take responsibility for and ownership of their local pub, through purchase or long-term lease. In some cases existing community-owned or managed pub-based businesses may be considered, if they are looking to diversify for community benefit and can demonstrate a clear economic case.

The programme seeks to support pubs in England which advance a charitable purpose to benefit their communities, for example, by:

  • Providing regeneration through access to public services and amenities to those who are socially excluded.
  • Promoting employment, education and training in areas of high social need.
  • Encouraging volunteering, citizenship and community development as a hub for community groups.

Applications will be considered from organisations with agreed appropriate structures, which are Community Benefit Societies:

  • Co-operative Societies.
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee.
  • Community Interest Companies (large membership).

The programme aims to help 80 community pubs open over a two-year period.

The support package includes:

  • Flexible bursary awards of up to £2,500 (inclusive of VAT) to fund pre-feasibility costs such as public consultation and valuations.
  • Combined loan and grant funding up to £150,000. This will not exceed £75,000 in grant contribution. The average grant is expected to be about £37,500. The average loan may be around £42,800.
  • An advice line
  • Events
  • Workshops
  • Peer-to-peer study visits
  • Business development advice

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