Pub is the hub!

Plunkett UK logo with bar scene in background
Alan Robertson

Grants of up to £2,000 to support early-stage community-owned pub groups are now available to help with initial costs and feasibility work as part of the Scottish Rural Network (SRN) support for Community Wealth Building and Community Led Local Development (CLLD).

SRN are supporting rural and island communities seeking to develop community assets by working in partnership with the Plunkett UK whose expertise in these areas has allowed a focus on community ownership of pubs and shops.

Over the financial year (2022-23) we have provided funding to the Plunkett UK to work with Community Shares Scotland and Cooperative Development Scotland, to support the growing community pubs network in Scotland through a series of free training events, expert advice and networking activities. This builds on the work initiated and funded in 2021-22. 

Plunkett UK, recognising the impact that community-owned businesses have on the communities they serve and is currently offering early-stage community-owned pub groups grants of up to £2,000 to help with initial costs and feasibility work including setting up legal structures, procuring professional and legal advice, valuations, market research and Plunkett membership.

Also available are packages of free business support from specialist Plunkett advisers, designed to support these groups with everything from community engagement to business planning, governance and the practicalities of running a pub.

Plunkett knows, from the evaluation of the ‘More Than a Pub’ programme in England, that the average success rate for all community pub enquiries is 1 in 10; but when a group has received a small-scale grant and adviser support, this increases to 1 in 3. 

To support this Plunkett UK run webinar to support community groups interested in developing a commnity pub.  These are open to all community groups involved in a community-owned pub project in Scotland, whether at the ideas stage or are already open and trading and have help to establish a network of peer support. 

Richard Draper from The Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative, which is exploring taking ownership of a pub in Wigtown, said of the support received from Plunkett:

"Acquiring an asset for the community is a really daunting, challenging and complex task.  I can't begin to express how much Plunkett UK have helped me, and thereby our local community, on our journey.  Not only do they have great expertise, they provide in the nicest possible way.  Without their support and grant, this would have all been so much harder.  I hope in the future many other communities gain the same amazing support as we have."

Groups can find out more about the support available by contacting Plunkett on 01993 630 022, or emailing"

The next online networking session is on 4th March and will feature discussions on how to handle differences of opinion that might arise between committee members, shareholders, and pub managers. Plunkett be drawing on the experience of Plunkett Community Business Manager and adviser Alison Macklin, who'll be guiding attendees through some principles to follow when there are differences of opinion. They will also be discussing good practices in governance to avoid some of the issues before they happen.