BEER loving communities are being encouraged to save their local pub with a campaign to have more neighbourhood owned hostelries.
Co-operative pubs are owned by members of the community, with everyone having an equal say and share of the profits.
Encouraged by support from high profile public figures, such as Stephen Fry, musician Robert Plant, Olympic medal winners Jonathan and Alistair Bownlea, and William Hague MP, the number of co-operatively owned pubs in the UK is growing.
There are now 22 in total, double that of last year.
A new form of finance, community shares, provides local residents with the option to own their neighbourhood pub.
Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “When much loved facilities, such as village shops and pubs, are threatened communities can work together to save them by forming a co-operative.
Let’s raise a glass to these communities and hope that even more will follow suit in 2014.”
Communities looking to save their local pub can get advice and practical support by calling 01993 810730, an information helpline which was set up earlier this year by the Plunkett Foundation.
The foundation’s chief executive Peter Couchman said: “Doubling the number of co-operative pubs in one year is fantastic progress.
Since our advice line was launched in March we’ve received more than 100 phone calls from communities looking to set up a co-operative.”