What works: Successful community pubs

Barnard, M., Davies, M., Hughes, S. and Miscampbell, G. (2017) What works: Successful community pubs. Research Report. Power to Change.


The Power to Change Research Institute commissioned NatCen Social Research and WPI Economics to study established businesses in the community pub sector, to identify key success factors and draw out lessons for others operating in this sector.

Community pubs have the same business challenges as commercial pubs (such as staff, stock and building management) but they also offer other services like a post office counter, café, childcare etc. that deliver positive social and economic benefits for the community e.g. increasing a sense of belonging among residents and reducing social isolation. To meet their social impact goals and run a sustainable business, they:

Cross-subsidise between pub business and other services e.g. café
Engage volunteers (with both general and specific skills) to support set-up and running of the pub
Differentiate themselves from other pubs by explaining how they are more than a pub
Four businesses were studied in-depth: The Anglers Rest in Derbyshire, The Centurion in Chester, The George and Dragon in the Yorkshire Dales, and The Drovers Inn in Dorset.

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