Community Pub Ownership
Recent years have seen a big increase in community-owned pubs. The launch of Assets of Community Value (www.camra.org.uk/listyourlocal for details) has helped provide more advice and guidance than ever before on how to go about saving your local through community ownership.
The idea of working with your neighbours to run a pub business could seem daunting but it is possible and being done successfully across the country. Even if a pub looks to be down and out, community ownership can turn those fortunes around. Taking ownership enables you to influence the direction of that pub business ensuring it meets community needs, supports the local economy and has the option to diversify. It also allows for financial and emotional buy-in from the local area creating a stronger connection from the community with the pub who will hopefully use it to its full potential.
Looking to run your local pub under community ownership? Need advice from those that have done it?
KEY ORGANISATIONS FOR SPECIALISED ADVICE ON COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP (CLICK THE LOGO)
For more detail and help on getting started have a read of this NEXT STEPS GUIDE from Plunkett.
CASE STUDY: The Bevendean Pub in Brighton is on its way to becoming a community owned hub incorporating a pub, cafe and meeting rooms. They are financing the bid through a mix of Community Shares, Sponsors and fundraising events. Their website is definitely worth a look to help get a sense of the what’s involved with community ownership, you can also read their business plan and prospectus online. http://www.thebevy.co.uk/
Models of Community Ownership
It has to said that experienced publicans are the best people to run pubs and CAMRA along with other organisations would strongly suggest that for longevity with your community owned pub you should set up a steering group made up of the community and hire in professional staff to manage the day-to-day running. Other questions you need to think about include do you want to run a leased or managed pub, what type of legal structure do you want your organisation to take, what role do you want the community to have, what level of voting rights do people have?
For help making these decisions you will want to research and contact the organisations listed above. Locality also have an advice line open every weekday morning, please call them on 0845 315 4564.
CASE STUDY: Another option is to register and apply with the Co-Operative Enterprise Hub who will assist and support your community set up as they have done with The Butcher’s Arm in Cumbria, Hudswell Community Pub and Saith Seren pub in Wrexham.
For most people the daunting sticking point to community ownership comes with the finance. The prospect of raising large sums of cash to buy the property let alone then financing refurbishment and other start up costs seems an impossible task. But it is happening and there are lots of loans, grants and other fundraising methods which are being successfully used.
CASE STUDY: Take the Ivy House pub in Nunhead who raised the money needed to purchase the London pub – £500,000 – through a combination of a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund and a grant from Locality’s My Community Rights Scheme. Once purchased they then needed start up cash and issued Community Shares. This resulted in £70,000 raised in two months and currently stands at £144,500 thanks to the generosity and interest from the local community.
Sources of finance:
- Community Shares
- Locality Grants
- Architectural Heritage Fund
- Co-Operative Loans
- Big Lottery Fund
- Public Works Loan Board (this is obtained via your Parish/Town Council and therefore they would need to be a part of your community ownership model)
- Sponsors/”white knight” investors (get advertising and who know who might turn up in your community)
DOWNLOAD HERE additional information taken from a campaigns workshop on Community Ownership run by CAMRA, Department of Communities and Local Government, Locality, Plunkett and Pub is The Hub.
Please call CAMRA’s Campaigns Team on 01727 798452 If you have any questions, would like us to help spread the word about your bid for community ownership or have anything to share with us.