More Than A Pub, the £2.2m continuation of the 2016-2019 programme launched earlier this year to support community controlled pubs, has received a £650,000 bonus thanks to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The cash injection, announced on Sunday, will mean the programme, funded by Power to Change and delivered by the Plunkett Foundation, will be able to support even more community groups to take ownership of their local pubs.
For every £1 of Government investment in More than a Pub to date, £5.46 has been leveraged from communities and Power to Change, representing excellent value for money.
Since 2016, More Than A Pub has supported 226 community groups and seen 43 pubs come into community control. Communities across England have raised more than £7m in community shares to buy their local, creating more than 7,000 shareholders with a stake in their local pub and community. When the initial investment from MHCLG and Power to Change ran out in 2019, Power to Change committed an additional £2.2m to the programme. This additional investment from MHCLG takes the total value of the fund to £2.85m.
The community controlled pub sector is not only growing, it is bucking wider negative industry trends. Almost a quarter of privately owned pubs have shut down since 2008, but community pubs have a 100% success rate so far.
Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change, said: “This additional investment from MHCLG is very welcome. Community controlled pubs are so valuable to the people who use them, offering a huge range of crucial services including lunch clubs for vulnerable people, training and development, gardening and cooking classes and parenting groups. Every penny counts in supporting this thriving, but fledgling, sector.”
James Alcock, Executive Director of Plunkett Foundation, said: “This further investment from MHCLG to support the development of community controlled pub projects is very welcome and reflects the positive impact these businesses are having. These community-run assets are so much more than just pubs, they promote local inclusivity and truly improve the wellbeing of communities by being a place that is open to all. Investment in this form of business is an investment in the future of the communities they serve.”
Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Communities, said: “ The Great British Pub is so much more than just a place to eat and drink. It is one of the great cornerstones of British life. From the Rose and Crown to the Fox and Hounds, to your King’s Arms or Queen’s Head, our pubs remain at the very heart of our cities, towns and villages. This new funding will boost the number of community-owned pubs and pub-based community services. It will offer sustainability and create valuable new jobs in the process, both in our great pubs and within our great communities. Pubs run by the community and for the community help bring people closer together. Importantly, they are a space for older, vulnerable and more isolated residents to access important local services.”
About More than a Pub:
More Than A Pub (MTAP) is a tried and tested model, effective at generating and sustaining new community pubs.
More Than A Pub was launched in 2016, as a three year programme to support community ownership of pubs in England with a value of £3.85 million. It was jointly funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Power to Change Trust. The programme was delivered by Plunkett Foundation in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, Key Fund, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub, The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and Locality. It was successful in providing the community pub sector access to an end-to-end support programme including capacity building and a finance package made up of loans and grants. Since 2016 it supported 43 pubs to come into community control of which 38 of these were open and trading. 180 groups received action planning support and 123 received bursary awards to support their development. More than £6m was raised in community shares (to help purchase the pubs for their community) by more than 5,000 shareholders.
The £2.2m extension to the More than a Pub programme was launched in June 2019 in response to the success, with the same delivery partnership, but adding representation from The Bevendean Community Pub to the Steering Group, making sure valuable learning from the only community owned pub in an urban area of deprivation is factored into this next phase. MTAP aims to support at least a further 20 pubs to come into community control with a similar mix of grant, loan, bursary and adviser support.
About Plunkett Foundation: The Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities UK-wide to tackle the issues they face, through promoting and supporting community business. Community businesses are enterprises that are owned and run democratically by members of the community and others, on behalf of the community. They come in many forms, including shops, pubs, woodlands and anything which lends itself to community ownership. In addition to developing and safeguarding valuable assets and services, community businesses address a range of issues including isolation, loneliness, wellbeing, work and training.
About Power to Change: Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England. Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector is worth £1.05 billion, and comprises 7,800 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2018)
From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.
About The National Lottery Community Fund: We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.