Changing social habits and rising taxation on our leisure activities has meant that pubs are fast ceasing to be profitable for their corporate owners. They are being sold off, demolished or even converted to many other uses without planning permission or the involvement of the local community who often relied on them.
In a tiny Cambridgeshire village there is a shining example of how community power has saved what is most precious to them.
In 1991 The Green Man, in Thriplow, Cambridgeshire was under threat of being sold by the brewery as a house with planning permission for another dwelling in the grounds. Luckily pressure from locals prevented this and The Green Man was bought by two individuals who gave The Green Man a better future as a free house.
On 1st October 2012, a new limited company formed to manage the purchase of The Green Man. 71 shareholders from Thriplow and surrounding communities pooled their resources to ensure the pub would remain open and preserve it as an asset for the village. The community support the pub by using it & feel a great deal of ownership over it. This is the best support a village pub can ask for.
Today, and this writer can vouch for it, The Green Man in Thriplow is one of the best pubs in rural Cambridgeshire and nearly 5 stars on Trip Advisor support this.
With beers brewed specifically for them and locally sourced produce that delivers a fabulous menu all the hard work and money invested is proof to how important this community asset is to the people who use it.
There is a valuable campaign afoot – An asset of community Value (ACV) . Your community can list your local pub to ensure its survival as an integral part of your community.
The nature of ‘pubs’ will inevitably change as society changes but wouldn’t it be good if we could recognise these historic establishments for the value they deliver to the local community and find ways to enhance that value in the 21st century.
With the backing of the community and a little lateral thinking maybe the future of the pub is healthier than we realise.