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Press Release


CAMRA calls for urgent action on Community Ownership Fund to save pubs

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) urges the Minister for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ensure community groups’ efforts to save pubs won’t be wasted.  

CAMRA has written to Angela Rayner the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ask for urgent action on the payment of grants from the Community Ownership Fund.  

During the run-up to the General Election, unfinalised Grant Funding Agreements from the Community Ownership Fund have meant payments to community groups have not been made, despite the funding having already been agreed and announced by the previous Government.  

Community projects up and down the country have been impacted by this, with bids to turn their local pubs into community-owned pubs now in significant danger. Owners selling the property may be put off by the delay and Assets of Community Value moratoriums could expire before community groups can finalise the purchase of their local.  

CAMRA is urging Government to make this a top priority of their first weeks in power. 

Commenting, Gary Timmins, CAMRA Pub & Club Campaigns Director said: 

“We are supremely disappointed by this mix-up. Community groups with plans to improve their communities and rescue their local have been left in limbo and are now unsure what the future holds for their campaigns.  

“Groups up and down the country have been working tirelessly, sometimes for years, to secure funding from various sources to save their local pubs. Securing Community Ownership Fund grants gave groups hopes of achieving their campaigns, this has currently been cruelly snatched away from them.  

“Community groups are now unsure if they will be able to buy their local pubs, with years of work potentially wasted. I urge the Secretary of State to ensure that agreed funds are followed through and acted on urgently.” 




Notes to editors:

Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP
Secretary of State 

Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities 

2 Marsham Street 


Via email 


Dear Secretary of State, 

Re: Urgent issue with Community Ownership Fund and community pubs 

I am writing on behalf of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. We are a consumer rights organisation with around 150,000 members across the UK. We campaign for great quality real ale, cider, perry and thriving pubs and social clubs in all of our communities.I would like to congratulate you on your appointment and wish you a smooth start in government.  

While we are aware your in-tray will be rather full, there is an urgent issue surrounding the payment of Community Ownership Fund grants that needs to be addressed as a high priority.  

It has been brought to CAMRA’s attention that community groups have been halted in their efforts to turn their local into a community pub. 

Due to a General Election being called, Grant Funding Agreements have not been finalised and crucial payments have been delayed, leaving groups with no knowledge if they will ever receive the agreed funding.  

Community groups have been left in limbo, as they cannot draw down funding despite their successful bid. Years of campaigning to save pubs could now be at risk of being ultimately unsuccessful, due to a lack of funds and clarity, owners who may now walk away from a sale, or Asset of Community Value moratoriums expire before funding can be utilised. 

I ask you to urgently look into how many Community Ownership Fund bids are awaiting policy decisions and provide countersigned Grant Funding Agreements to any groups who have successful bids in place.  

While we hope this will be one of your first actions as Levelling Up, Housing and Communities minister, we hope to work with you and the rest of the Department to protect pubs and social clubs across the UK.  

We would like to offer you a meeting or written briefing on the other issues we hope you will address. These include ensuring that High Street Rental Auctions are used to support urban pubs rather than seeing them converted by stealth, and the strengthening of planning protection and enforcement for pubs so that tragedies such as the Crooked House destruction are prevented in future.  

Pubs are at the heart of communities and working together is vital in allowing them to thrive. I look forward to your swift response on the release of funding from the Community Ownership Fund.  

Thank you in advance for your assistance. 

Yours sincerely,  

Gary Timmins 

CAMRA Pub & Club Campaigns Director