Prince’s Countryside Fund Awards £100k Grant Across Four Rural Pubs

The Prince’s Countryside Fund has announced the award of four major grants to Pub is The Hub pub diversification projects in partnership with the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Each of the four pubs has been awarded £25,000 in direct grants to support major capital projects that will serve to benefit their surrounding rural communities with much needed services in Northumberland, Suffolk, Essex and Cornwall.

The four pubs included in the direct funding are:

  • At the Bird in Bush pub at Elsdon in the Northumberland National Park the grant will support a major refurbishment of the kitchen, and improvements to the accommodation facilities. In addition, through work with Pub is The Hub, the Bird in Bush will extend its services to include a community meeting space, a micro library, parcel drop facility, board games club and a social club.
  • The Oyster Inn, Butley, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, has been awarded its grant to support the provision of essential village services. Unused barn buildings will be converted to provide a village shop to complement a community function room, cinema and micro-brewery that opened earlier this year. The shop and café will encourage socialising, and the function room and cinema will show child-friendly films, acting as a safe space for the carers of children in the village.
  • Great Oakley Community Hub Ltd which owns the Maybush Inn, in Great Oakley, Essex, has been awarded the grant to renovate a derelict cottage next to the Maybush Inn to provide a village café. On completion it will become a social hub providing employment opportunities for local residents whilst combating the issue of social isolation for many of the village’s elderly residents.
  • The grant for the Victoria Inn, in Roche, St Austell in Cornwall supports the cost of providing a meeting room equipped with IT facilities and WiFi, a community kitchen and a community events square. The community kitchen will work closely with nearby Cornwall College and St Austell Brewery as a satellite apprentice assessment centre and will help to train ten apprentices a year to meet the need of qualified chefs in Cornwall.

In addition to the direct funding for the pub projects, Pub is The Hub is to receive support over the next two years for increased activity in the South West of England; from Cornwall up to Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. By the end of the summer 2018, it is expected that thirty interested communities will have been supported through additional new services and activities.

John Longden, Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub said: “While we were ordinarily able to provide advice and some small financial support, grants of this size are an additional and significant boost to the viability of the projects being undertaken by these four pubs with their communities and we are enormously grateful to The Prince’s Countryside Fund and People’s Post Lottery for their backing.”

He went on: “In addition, as an organisation of mainly volunteers we are most grateful to receive this vital support for our core activities.

“This includes the advisory work that we undertake with communities collaborating with licensees and other small businesses to provide support for services and activities in their area, as well as the accurate measurement of outcomes from completed projects.”

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support these impressive rural pub schemes with grants, all of which will go a long way to accessing essential services, reducing isolation, providing local employment, helping to upskill local residents. We’re also immensely grateful to People’s Postcode Lottery for providing this funding, allowing the Fund to help more rural communities throughout the UK.”

The Prince’s Countryside Fund will open again for grant applications of up to £50,000 in the new year. More information can be found at