Co-operatives set to save local pubs

The Plunkett Foundation is today launching an advice line, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, to help the growing number of people in rural and urban communities to set up co-operatives to save their local pub. It will be announced by Community Pubs Minister, Brandon Lewis, at the Green Man, a co-operatively owned pub in Essex.

Photo of Peter Couchman

Peter Couchman of the Plunkett Foundation

The support will see a national advice line, funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, established for communities looking to save their local pub by setting up a community-owned co-operative.

The launch will coincide with Plunkett’s launch of a bespoke website (www.pubs.coop) to provide access to information and advice, specialist toolkits and an online directory of co-operative pubs – of which there are currently 14 across the UK. An online forum will also be established to share knowledge between communities themselves. Promoting and supporting community-owned co-operative pubs forms a key part of the Plunkett Foundation’s wider campaign to promote and support greater levels of community ownership in rural areas.

Minister for Pubs, Brandon Lewis, said: “The local pub is often at the very heart of the community and an important aspect of life for many people. When it closes, many communities feel powerless to save it. The Co-operative Pubs Advice Line will give communities access to a wealth of information and expertise, giving them the tools they need to save their local pub as a co-operative enterprise for generations to come.”

Peter CouchmanPeter Couchman, Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “The Co-operative Pubs Advice Line will be an important piece of the jigsaw of support required by communities in rural and urban areas looking to save their local pub as a co-operative. We hope that by raising awareness of the co-operative model as a solution we will inspire confidence in communities to help themselves to save what is important to them.”

The Plunkett Foundation has significant expertise in community ownership models that boast wide membership and democratic control. The co-operative model also allows enterprises to raise significant amounts of finance through community shares. Communities wishing to explore this model as a way of saving their local are urged to call the Co-operative Pubs Advice Line at the Plunkett Foundation on 01993 810730 or email info@plunkett.co.uk.