Help for pubs to play central role
COUNTRY pubs are being offered funding and advice to help them become hubs of their communities.
With village stores and post offices under increasing pressure, it is hoped pubs will be able to offer more services.
Not only can that secure their futures, it can mean people in remote settlements do not have to rely on car trips into towns.
Pub is the Hub, a not-for- profit organisation, is launching its Local Community Services Champions scheme on Tuesday at Driffield Showground.
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Chief executive John Longden said: "We would love to see any good licensees in East Yorkshire who are considering the option of diversification and even those who have never thought of it before.
"We are ideally placed to advise on ideas, funding and carrying what we aim to be around 30 projects through to completion in the next year."
Several East Yorkshire pubs have expressed an interest in the scheme. Some are already offering services and facilities not normally found in a village local.
The Wrygarth Inn in Great Hatfield, near Hornsea, houses the village shop.
The Plough in Hollym, near Withernsea runs a harvest auction in aid of the local church, operates a book exchange service and writes and produces the village newsletter.
The Star at Kilham and The Blacksmith's Arms in Holme-on-Spalding Moor are also looking at schemes.
Wrygarth landlord Ray Thompson said: "Four years ago, the Wrygarth Inn was a blot on the landscape – now it has become a meeting place for many of the villagers, hosting the village store, providing locally sourced food on our menu, and holding quiz nights."
Pub is the Hub says schemes elsewhere in the country have pubs providing post offices, shops, libraries, internet cafes, allotment schemes, school dinners, lunch clubs for the elderly, cash point machines, IT training and meeting rooms.
The scheme was founded in 2001 by the Prince of Wales.
It encourages local authorities, communities and breweries to work together to support services within rural pubs.
Pub is the Hub assists with guidance on availability of funding.
The organisation is being backed by East Riding Council and the Big Lottery Fund.
Officers from the council will be at Driffield on Tuesday to advise about the various community funds being developed.
Anyone who would like to know more about what the scheme offers or how to apply can visit www.communi tychampions.org.uk or call 01423 546165.