Plunkett to help communities take over their local with new pubs programme

29th Apr 2016

Plunkett Foundation, a leading organisation supporting community share offers, has launched a major new support and finance programme to help people take control of their local pub for the benefit of the community. 

More than a Pub: The Community Pub Business Support Programme is a £3.62m is a two-year programme of business development support, advice and loan and grant funding for community groups in England.. This will help them to establish community-owned pubs that can clearly demonstrate how they will bring significant social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities.

Jointly funded by the Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the programme is being led by Plunkett Foundation and delivered in collaboration with leading organisations within the sector.

Plunkett Foundation is delivering the scheme in collaboration with Co-operative & Community Finance, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Co-operative Mutual Solutions, Pub is the Hub and Locality. For the first time it will offer 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. 

Support will be targeted at community groups looking to take on ownership of their local pub. As well as advice, training and events, this programme will be offering bursaries up to £2,500 (inclusive of VAT) to fund pre-feasibility costs such as public consultation and valuations and also combined loan and grant funding up to £150,000. Plunkett advises that the average grant is expect to be around £37,500 and the average loan may be around £42,800. 

An increasing number of groups are using community shares to help finance pub buy-outs, like The Bell Inn in Bath. This programme provides valued support and complementary funding to help groups use community shares to take over their own local. 

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