The Community Pub Support Programme – It’s more than A Pub!

The CPSP is a unique programme established to help support community ownership of pubs in Scotland and grow the range of services they offer to help local people.

For the first time it offers the community pub sector access to an end-to-end support programme including regular ongoing monthly grants to help build the business and improve our local communities.

Why community owned pubs?

Over the last 10 years the UK has lost nearly 8000 pubs – around a fifth of all pubs nationally. For many communities, pubs are not just a place to eat and drink; they are central to people’s sense of place and identity and they foster belonging and community cohesion. In rural areas pub closures can represent the loss of the last community meeting space and trading facility.

The programme will increase the number of community-owned pubs open and trading and will grow the range of services they offer to help the wider community and address local issues. Services provided by community pubs could include a shop, post office, library, internet café, cash point, police surgeries, lunch clubs for the elderly, prescription services and informal meeting spaces for a range of community activities such as sports teams, choirs, live music and walking groups.

The programme offers funding and support to community groups who wish to take ownership of their local pub and who need help to develop their ideas and plans. We specifically wish to work with groups committed to delivering a pub for the benefit of the wider community.

Who is eligible to apply?

The programme seeks to work with community groups who are considering taking ownership of their local pub, either through purchase or long-term lease. All applicants for loan and grant funding will be expected to demonstrate clear and significant viable benefits to their local community for their plans, as well as some funding already raised within the community. Community groups will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be based and working in Scotland.
  • Are looking to take ownership of an existing pub either closed or trading.
  • Can demonstrate that the pub is for sale or that the current owner is willing to negotiate.
  • Using, or planning to use a range of agreed appropriate structures, which are Community Benefit Societies, Co-operative Societies, Companies Limited by Guarantee and Community Interest Companies (large membership). Regardless of legal structure, an asset lock, or other significant barrier, must be in place to ensure minimal private benefit (and notably the pub cannot be sold for the private benefit of those involved).
  • There is open membership, where new members are encouraged to join and be involved as part owners.
  • Governance is democratic, with a one member, one vote policy.
  • Can demonstrate commitment to genuine community-ownership and control within the local community.
  • Can demonstrate that the proposal advances a community and social purpose and provides public benefit, with no or only minimal private benefit involved.
  • Committed to engaging widely with the local community and surrounding areas if appropriate.
  • Can demonstrate support from the local community
  • Surplus income will either be re-invested in the undertakings or used to support the objects of the enterprise in some other way. In this context, the payment of interest on share capital will be seen as an operating cost and not a distribution of surplus and must comply with the Charity Commission’s statement on the payment of interest. There will not be any form of profit distribution.
  • Can demonstrate that some community finance will be or has been raised in support of the project.
  • Can demonstrate that other local businesses and community groups have been consulted and will not be displaced by the proposed Community Pub Business.
  • Are planning to offer a range of services which will benefit local people including those who are socially excluded or isolated. These services must be over and above what a normal pub would provide

How do I apply?

Please contact us through our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.