The government has announced it is to give rural pubs £70,000 in funding to provide new or expanded services.
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.
The government says the £70,000 of funding for the ‘Pub is The Hub’ scheme will support their work in encouraging rural pubs to widen their “offer” beyond food and drink that it says will “not only helps pubs to thrive but also helps to bring communities together”.
Community pubs minister Jake Berry, 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.
The new funding is expected to deliver 36 projects which will help revamp local pubs with services including village shops, libraries, allotments, post offices, community cafes and cinemas. This will create an estimated 30 full time and 59 part-time 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, CEO 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.”