Pub is The Hub was announced as the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award at last night’s Publican Awards.
The Prince Charles-backed organisation that helps pubs diversify to provide services for their local communities was honoured by Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis during the awards night at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
The Big Society Awards were created in 2010 to recognise and celebrate individuals, groups or organisations doing exceptional work in their community.
The not-for-profit Pub is the Hub was initiated in 2001 by HRH The Prince of Wales and helps pubs in rural communities to stay at the heart of village life by providing additional sought after services. It has worked with over 400 pubs across England and Wales.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “From a lunch club for older people in Grasby, to a cinema in Purleigh - this initiative is helping village pubs find innovative ways to maintain their place in the centre of so many communities.
“With the energy and passion of landlords and licensees up and down the country, Pub is The Hub is going from strength to strength and I’m delighted to recognise everyone involved with this Big Society Award.”
Announcing the award on stage last night, Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Pubs are at the heart of so many of the country’s villages and towns and I congratulate Pub is The Hub on their well deserved Big Society award recognising their work in helping rural pubs get involved with their local community.”
Pub is The Hub chief executive John Longden said: “This award is fabulous recognition for all the hard-working licensees running pubs in their communities who work tirelessly in providing additional services where they have disappeared.
“At Pub is The Hub we have a great team of, largely voluntary, people who help to promote social action, encourage consultation and offer support and advice to widen the appeal of the pub. They too will be thrilled with this award.”
In the last 18 months, Pub is The Hub has also created a Community Services Fund supported by Government and business to help more country pubs to get involved.
The Department for Communities and Local Government recently announced an extra £20,000, in addition to existing £150,000 funding until 2015, to provide specialist advice to pubs and help diversify their services.
Last year, Longden won the Outstanding Industry Achievement Award at the Publican Awards.