They say that the pub is the hub of the community in the UK, especially in rural places and now the UK government has announced that seventy-six pubs across England will become ‘Pub is the Hub’ pubs, offering local services such as Post Office and Libraries.
The government will share £188,000 of funding through the Pub is the Hub project to help rural pubs diversify their offerings and help bring communities together by expanding their services beyond food and drink. Rural pubs are particularly threatened with fourteen pubs closing every week, and with austerity always at the forefront, libraries and community services are also under threat.
This new project could see pubs offer many community services and even see pubs set up book clubs, offer basic groceries, library books, training courses and more.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association welcomes the additional funding stating that pubs are the original social network, at the heart of communities, playing a vital role in bringing communities together.
The initiative has been launched by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), alongside the UK government and while it’s great news for pubs, we’re only cautiously optimistic in view of rural libraries. While in theory we think the idea is great, we hope that it doesn’t serve as a further nail in the coffin of rural libraries, as they’re already struggling to stay open and receive funding with many relying on volunteers.
You can find out more at pubisthehub.org.uk