North Yorkshire’s pioneering community owned pubs set to help others trying to save their local

Community groups in Yorkshire and the North East trying to save their local pub from closure are being encouraged to attend a free, two-day tour of two North Yorkshire pubs that were saved as community pubs.

National charity Plunkett Foundation is offering places to groups at the early stages of considering community ownership as an option for saving their local pub. The two-day tour will take in three thriving examples of community pubs – The George and Dragon in Hudswell, near Richmond, The Foresters Arms in Carlton-in-Coverdale, and The Dog Inn in Belthorn, Lancashire.

The tour offers people a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from communities who have already saved their pub as a co-operative, as well as the chance to speak one-to-one with the advisers responsible for supporting a large number of communities to save their pub – and other assets and services – using community ownership. It will also be a chance to network with others in a similar situation, to share experiences and support each other.

With an estimated 29 pubs closing every week*, more and more communities are choosing to take action themselves and consider community ownership as a way of taking control of their pub and opening it as a community owned business. To date, 42 pubs have been saved in this way – 4 of which are in Yorkshire – and none have ever closed.

James Alcock, Head of Frontline for Plunkett Foundation, said: “A community pub is owned by the community, for the community. It isn’t something that is imposed from the outside. It has its roots within the community, and binds people together in a way that few other things are able to do. It’s a way of securing and preserving something precious; a place where people can share their joys and sorrows, celebrate and commiserate, or just pass the time of day in what is truly their own pub.

“We’re hoping to encourage communities in Yorkshire, the North East and Lancashire who may be at risk of losing their pub to come and see the incredible potential of community ownership for themselves, and hopefully be inspired to make it work for them.”

The tour is aimed at community groups in the early stages of trying to save their pub and is being undertaken as part of the More Than A Pub: Community Pub Business Support Programme, with support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

For more information, please call Plunkett on 01993 810730 or visit www.plunkett.co.uk