Community Future for York Pubs

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August 27th, 2013
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York is (in)famous for its pub-scene, with visitors and students often greeted with the idea that you could do a year-long pub crawl, visiting a new establishment each day. Nightlife tourism in York is rife.

But there now seems to be a resurgence in pubs, making you more connected to your local than ever before. The Campaign for Real Ale is urging the pub-lovers of York to back a campaign, ensuring communities (as opposed to the big breweries and chains) have more of a chance of buying your local if it goes up for sale.

For some, the idea of owning their own pub may be a pipe dream where they seek the ideal of a landlord’s life, but many aspects of this dream are being brought closer, without having to spend big or set up on your own. CAMRA are setting the challenge of getting 300 pubs across the UK listed as assets of community value (ACVs) by the end of 2013, doing so on a local level through it’s List York Local initiative. The scheme is simple, providing communities with the opportunity and advice in applying to buy their local and run it as a community owned facility. The idea being that the scheme would permit any potential sale of a pub to be delayed for up to 6 months, allowing time for customers and the community to put a bid in.

For a pub to be listed as an ACV at least 21 people from the community the pub serves must support the application. The York branch of CAMRA want to make sure that added protection is secured for pubs in York including The Fox on Holgate Road, and the Minster Inn in Marygate. So far it is thought that there has already been enough support from the community for the ACV application for The Fox to be able to get it listed. The Old Ebor on Drake Street is also in the process of applying.

The Golden Ball in Bishophill is a true example of how Community Pubs work, having made the change in November 2012 when licensees Linda and Dave Foster were seeking retirement. The co-operative which has shown investment both locally and from across the oceans, has proved how community pubs have a place to serve local residents. Ryan Sandford-Blackburn, Communications Officer for The Incredible Movement in York, commented on how the Golden Ball’s community focus has made it an obvious choice for gatherings, “The Golden Ball is a vibrant, welcoming pub bringing together community in the centre of York. As the city’s first cooperative pub, it is a natural choice for TIM in York’s monthly socials. It’s a real venue for people.” With such a positive response to the Golden Ball’s co-operative, more pubs in York could be reverting to the traditional value of what a ‘local’ is through CAMRA’s initiative.

If you’d like to make sure that your local pub is listed on the scheme then you find a guide to making ACV applications through CAMRA, who offer advice and support to those interested in applying.

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