Saving your local pub- Sound familiar?
Some of you may have seen the article that appeared in the Times on Friday 23rd of July. With thanks to The Times and the reporter Hugh Graham, we reproduce some items from the article that are relevant, as commentary, to our project and below is the link for the whole article, recommended if you are a Times subscriber.
The article reflects on the issues facing some pubs and the number of closures since 2001, 'More than 13000 or 25% of British pubs have closed between 2001 and 2018, and the trend was exacerbated by the pandemic; last year 2360 pubs closed their doors for good.'
However the article shows how much they are missed 'A village without a pub is like a scone without clotted cream, a bank holiday without rain, Bake Off without the innuendo and a football match without penalties. It just isn't British.
It goes further ' In property terms they are as coveted an asset as a south-facing garden or a good school. An estate agent is quoted as saying "When I am showing buyers a house, every single time they ask does the village have a pub. If it does not that has an impact on their decisions.
The Reporter states 'Now fed up with seeing the decimation of their communities, locals are taking matters into their own hands and buying village pubs to run for themselves'.
The Article quotes the Plunkett Foundation confirming that in the midst of the pandemic 12 new community pubs opened taking the total since 2001 to 150.They also state that these pubs have a 96% long term survival rate and that community ownership could be the model to save the industry. Let's face it The White Lion was at its closure 'unviable' for its owners, a pub owning brewery, who put tenant after tenant, manager after manager in to run it. These people were the victims of a pub ownership model that killed off the White Lion, and community ownership is the model that makes it viable to reopen. We know, we have run the numbers.
The article illustrates some of the success stories around the country, and we have in previous blogs highlighted others. But the central theme is the same, villagers and communities who have lost their shop, their post office and other amenities develop their community pub to give them back what they need from other lost local assets and find as the article states 'There is a real sense of ownership- people are immensely proud they are drinking in their own pub'
These community pubs have offerings that include a coffee shop, meals on wheels, a shuttle service, club meetings, a food bank, local employment, a regular market, a small shop, and in a quoted case reinvestment of cash back into the village.
We have similar plans for the White Lion.
So what do we have? Well we have
- 100s of supporters
- A Community Interest Company
- Funding sufficient to buy the asset and run it
- Supportive local and district councils
Thank you all for your continued support.
Our fund-raising page can be found at https://www.savethewhitelion.com/contact