Communities in England looking to take responsibility for and ownership of their local pub, through purchase or long-term lease can now apply for financial support through the Community Pub Business Support Programme.
A total of £3.62 million is available over two years and the support package includes business development support, advice, loan, and grant funding. The financial support includes flexible bursary awards of up to £2,500 to fund pre-feasibility costs such as public consultation and valuations and combined loan and grant funding up to £100,000.
The programme supports pubs where they advance a charitable purpose to benefit their communities by, for example, providing regeneration through access to public services and amenities to those who are socially excluded. Promoting employment, education and training in areas of high social need and encouraging volunteering, citizenship and community development as a hub for community groups.
Although the programme is aimed primarily at communities considering taking responsibility for and ownership of their local pub, in some cases existing community-owned or managed pub-based businesses may be considered if they are looking to diversify for community benefit and can demonstrate a clear economic case.
To apply, communities need to fill out an initial enquiry form or call the programme advice line for more information on 01993 810730.
The programme has been extended and is now open for applications until the end of March 2019.