Funding deal announced for English community pubs support

SOME £150m has been announced to help communities in England take ownership of their local pubs, theatres, shops or local sports clubs – if they are at risk of being lost.

Said Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, in his latest Budget announcement: “We’re also creating a £150 million fund, to help communities across the United Kingdom take ownership of pubs, theatres, shops or local sports clubs at risk of loss – putting more power in the hands of local people.”

Ahead of the Budget speech, it was being widely trailed in the media that community groups might be given up to £250,000 to take over struggling pubs in their area.

The Budget also included an expansion of a ‘Town Deals’ programme – funding to support regeneration.

Said Sunak: “I’m announcing today over a billion for 45 new, Towns Deals.

“From Castleford to Clay Cross; Rochdale to Rowley Regis; and Whitby to Wolverhampton.”

The speech included also details of a plan to establish so-called ‘Freeports’, with eight locations already identified in England and a pledge to “work constructively with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations”, to make the initiative UK-wide.

Freeports were described as “special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business”.

The eight English locations are: East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

Read the full Budget speech, here.

Picture: A much-loved bar in Edinburgh (not at risk, one hopes)

Picture credit: PlaceDesignScotland