Driffield become focus in fight for rural pubs

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DRIFFIELD is set to become the central focus for a new incentive aimed at preserving the vitality of local public houses.

Many pubs in and around the town have face hard times in recent years – with some closing and others teetering on the brink.

A scheme designed to help rural pubs to branch out into new services is to be launched on Tuesday October 9 at The Kelleythorpe Showground..

Rural pubs champion, Pub is The Hub, is launching its Local Community Services Champions initiative for licensees in East Yorkshire.

Pub is The Hub has written to over 300 rural pubs to invite them to think about the initiative which is being backed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Big Lottery Fund.

The organisation has invited them to attend the meeting that will showcase advice, support and, if appropriate, funding for pub operators and owners who are considering a diversification scheme. Schemes of this type 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.

Karen Wood and Laura Burley from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s rural policy and partnerships team will be there on the day to advise about community funds that are being developed throughout the area.

John Longden, Chief Executive from Pub is The Hub added: “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.

Councillor Jane Evison, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s portfolio holder for economic development, tourism and rural issues, said: “The council is pleased to be working with Pub is The Hub on a scheme which is a ‘win-win’ as it can both benefit pubs and support rural communities.

“I do urge licensees to attend the launch and find out more about how their pub could diversify to become a hub for the local community.”

Anyone who would like to know more about the scheme in East Yorkshire can go to www.communitychampions.org.uk or telephone 01423 546165 for more information.