The Pub is the Hub

25th April 2017, 10:51am | By Steve |

The village pub is a vital centre or hub of community life, but it can also provide essential services beyond the usual drinks, food or entertainment.

In a nutshell

‘The Pub is the Hub’ is an organisation of specialist voluntary advisors for rural pubs and licensees who are thinking of broadening their range of services.  The group works with and encourages good licensees, communities, pub owners, breweries, local authorities and the private sector to work together to match community priority needs with additional services which can be provided by the local pub and a good licensee.

How it works

For centuries, the local pub has been at the heart of village life.  However, many struggle to thrive and 100s of rural pubs close each year.  ‘The Pub is the Hub’ works with publicans, landlords and licensees to expand and diversify the services and facilities offered by village pubs in an attempt to increase footfall and strengthen the position of the pub in the community.  In some cases, the community may take over the pub and run it as a community facility, but the preferred solution is for the pub to continue as a viable business providing a range of community services in addition to its traditional offer.  Pubs have the potential to offer so much more than drinks and food, with their 7-day-a-week opening hours, they can provide:

  • Leisure facilities – darts, pool, skittles, short mat bowls or boules in the garden
  • Arts and cultural venues – music, cinema, entertainments and exhibition spaces
  • Local history centres
  • Venues and meeting facilities for local groups
  • Cooking facilities for voluntary meals on wheels services
  • Lunch and afternoon tea clubs for the elderly
  • Memory cafes
  • IT hubs and computer skills centres
  • Retail outlets for local producers
  • Post offices and parcel collection hubs
  • Contact centres for the public services including the Police, NHS and the Council
  • Book exchanges
  • Mobile catering for village events
  • Tourist information centres and accommodation providers
  • Start and finish points for walks and cycle rides

What is special about this project

Access to services in rural areas can be difficult, particularly for those living on lower incomes. Having a local hub in the village pub offering a range of activities and facilities can make all the difference.

How you can replicate this project where you live:

  • Establish local need – what gaps exist in local service provision?
  • Talk to ‘The Pub is the Hub’ and your local licensee about what may be possible
  • Identify whether local funding might be available
  • Identify local volunteers and organisers
  • Support and promote the scheme once it is up and running

Find out more and get in touch:

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