A £1.5M fund to help communities take control of pubs at risk of closure has been launched by the Government.
The Pub Loan Fund will help groups take over the running of their much-loved local by providing small loans to start feasibility work, pay lawyers’ fees or get materials for refurbishment.
Marcus Jones, Community Pubs’ Minister, said: “British pubs have always been at the heart of local communities, with people getting together to enjoy good company and conversation over a pint of beer or glass of wine.
“But they also support thousands of jobs across all areas of the country, boosting the economy by £21bn a year.
“Now we’re giving our communities the chance to be at the heart of their local with the support they need to put their plans for running a pub into action.”
Already, under community rights, residents of a locality can nominate any building or land as an ‘asset of community value’. If it comes up for sale, they then have six months to raise funds to buy it.
More than 800 pubs have been listed so far.
The Old Crown at Hesket Newmarket in Cumbria was the first co-operatively owned pub in the country.
It was bought by 125 customers in 2003 and now has 150 shareholders.
The model was later adopted at Crosby Ravensworth, near Penrith, to save the Butchers Arms.