Pub is The Hub, a ground breaking organisation that supports country pubs to provide community services such as shops, book clubs and even cinemas, was announced as the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award by Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis MP at last night’s Publican Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
John Longden from Harrogate launched ‘Pub is The Hub’ in 2001 following an inspirational challenge from HRH The Princes of Wales that rural licensees and pubs may be able to support some local services in their communities.
It helps pubs in rural communities to stay at the heart of village life by providing additional sought after services. The organisation has worked with over 400 pubs across England and Wales including the Prince of Wales in Bridgend which operates a heritage and history centre, the Black Swan Inn, Ravenstonedale in Cumbria where they provide freshly cooked school meals for the local primary school and the Cholmeley Arms in Burton Coggles near Grantham which hosts a butchers in an adjoining building.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:From a lunch club for older people in Grasby, to a cinema in Purleigh – this initiative is helping village pubs find innovative ways to maintain their place in the centre of so many communities.
With the energy and passion of landlords and licensees up and down the country, Pub is The Hub is going from strength to strength and I’m delighted to recognise everyone involved with this Big Society Award.
John Longden, Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub said: This award is fabulous recognition for all the hard-working licensees running pubs in their communities who work tirelessly in providing additional services where they have disappeared. At Pub is The Hub we have a great team of, largely voluntary, people who help to promote social action, encourage consultation and offer support and advice to widen the appeal of the pub. They too will be thrilled with this award.
Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis said:Pubs are at the heart of so many of the country’s villages and towns and I congratulate Pub is The Hub on their well deserved Big Society award recognising their work in helping rural pubs get involved with their local community.
Right across the country pubs provide not just hundreds of thousands of jobs but a valuable place for millions of people to get together. The government is playing its part doing everything we can to support pubs, including by abolishing the last government’s cider tax, cutting red tape on live music in pubs and as the Chancellor announced in the budget by taking another penny in tax off a pint.
In the last 18 months Pub is The Hub has also created a Community Services Fund supported by Government and business to help more country pubs to get involved. The Department for Communities and Local Government recently announced an extra £20,000, in addition to existing £150,000 funding until 2015, to provide specialist advice to pubs and help diversify their services.