Bamford Community Society was set up in 2011, when 300 members of the rural Bamford community clubbed together to buy their local pub to prevent its closure. Today, with the help of Power to Change funding, the pub has become a key community asset, providing a wide variety of services for local people, including a post office and café. The hub employs a number of local people, uses locally sourced produce and reinvests its profits in the community.
Prior to the purchase by the society, the pub building had suffered underinvestment. As a result, a number of urgent repairs were required, insulation was poor and running costs were high. In May 2015, Power to Change awarded BCS a £120,000 to fund a range of essential capital works, improve energy efficiency and allow new income streams to be explored, helping the hub to become sustainable in the long term and protecting its position at the heart of the community.
While the funding will be evidenced in the transformation of the hub, the real value of the grant, and of businesses such as Bamford Community Society, can be seen in the wider community impact. When communities lose their local services, such as pubs, shops and post offices, they are at risk of becoming dormitory towns and villages where people leave the community for work and return to their house. Together, the residents of Bamford ensured that the village did not become just a commuter town for Sheffield, Manchester and Derby. Today, the village has a new focal point and a renewed sense of community.