Friday, 27 January 2012

New Initiative Launched for Cornish Pubs

I was pleased to hear about a new scheme to help rural Cornish pubs to branch out into new services that has launched last week.

Pub is The Hub launched its Local Community Services Champions initiative, showcasing advice, support and, if appropriate, funding for pub operators and owners who are considering a diversification scheme. Examples include providing post offices, shops, libraries, internet cafes, allotment schemes, school dinners, lunch clubs for the elderly, cash point machines, IT training and meeting rooms.

Pub is The Hub, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2001 by HRH the Prince of Wales, encourages local authorities, communities, licensees, pub owners and breweries to work together to support, retain and locate services within rural pubs. Pub is The Hub assists with guidance on availability of project funding, and having a thorough understanding of the pub business, is able to advise on the best way to progress with each individual project.

The scheme in Cornwall is being backed by Cornwall Rural Community Council, Volunteer Cornwall, Age UK and the Big Lottery Fund, with help from St Austell Brewery. Other guests at the meeting represented DEFRA, Cornwall Community Foundation and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Nigel Clark, who spoke for Age UK in Cornwall, explained that pubs can play a vital role for vulnerable people over 50 who can often become isolated in rural communities when their partner dies. Peter Jefferson, Chief Executive of Cornwall Rural Community Council presented a series of ‘quick win’ examples that pubs could employ to support their communities such as ‘lunch in a bag’ schemes for disabled or elderly residents and their carers, a prescriptions collection service, internet shopping point and providing a space for local suppliers of crafts to sell their wares. He said that his organisation would guide anyone interested through the maze of applications forms to complete for funding.

I believe that is great news for both our publicans, and the public that they service, and will allow our local pubs to strengthen their roles as hubs of the local community.

Anyone who would like to know more about in Cornwall can go to or telephone 01423 546165 for more information.

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