How are Community Pubs Run?

Once the buying of the building is complete there are three common options for the running of a community pub:

  1. Tenant Run
  2. Manager Run
  3. Community Run

Each approach has its own merits and each has an influence on the level of business risk and time investment required from the community.

Tenant Run

Under this model, the pub is let to a tenant landlord who runs the business independently.  The Community Benefit Society, which owns the pub, would receive an annual rental income.  This means there is a predictable annual income for the Society, immune to potential fluctuations in operating income. The financial risk for operating the pub belongs to the tenant, including the ability to profit from periods of success. If any debts are incurred, these are also the responsibility of the tenant. 

In terms of the day-to-day running of the pub, this is the responsibility of the tenant and under their control.  The Society can have an influence by making provisions in the lease related to aspects of the running of the pub.  For example, some community pubs in Oxfordshire stipulate agreed opening hours, or the agreement for the pub to a monthly community event of their choosing.  It would also be expected that an incoming landlord would listen to the preferences of the surrounding local community.  The recent community consultation and survey outlined clearly what the village would like to see from a local pub.

Having a tenant in place reduces the required involvement from the Society, both in terms of time and money. Tenants can bring valuable expertise in the pub trade. Of course it does mean that a suitable tenant needs to be found and retained.  However, the visible backing of the village provides a strong indicator of the potential success for the business and therefore its attractiveness to potential tenants.

Manager Run

In this scenario, the Society would hire a manager to run the pub. The manager would employ additional staff and handle the day-to-day running of the pub, under the guidance of the Society.  With this operating model, the Society would have more control and input into the running of the pub, however this would come at the cost of greater financial exposure and a larger investment of time. In addition to costs related to employment, the Society would also be required to initially fund the business until it became self-sustaining.  Additionally, any downturn in profits due to lower custom or higher than expected expenses would directly impact the finances and therefore viability of the Society.

Community Run

In this scenario, the community would actively run the pub on a volunteer business. All costs associated with the running of the pub would be borne by the Society and staffing costs would either be minimal or non-existent. This model does however require a large ongoing investment of time from the community, as well as access to requisite skills to run a successful pub business. It may be more suitable for smaller settlements where the pub may be serving multiple functions or only be open at reduced hours.

Which Model is Right?

As can be seen, each model has its place and ultimately the right choice will depend on the pub itself and the surrounding community that it serves. The majority of community pubs in the UK have so far followed the route of finding a tenant or a manager. In the case of the White House, the Society believes that the tenanted model provides the lowest risk starting point with the least impact on the community. However, this does not mean to say the community can’t get involved. Indeed, there will be a great need for the volunteering of time and skills in order to get the pub up and running in the first place.

Whichever model is chosen, it is worth noting that 100% of the UK’s community pubs continue to survive and thrive.

Ultimately the ongoing support of the community through regular usage of the pub will be more important to its success than the initial choice of operating model.

Now That I’ve Invested, How Can I Help?

Thanks to the support of the community we have already made a great start on our share offer! If you have already invested you may still be wondering how else you can help? Below our some ideas on how you can help us meet our goal.

Tell Your Friends! 

If you have already invested, please let people know why and encourage them to do the same. There are many reasons why someone would invest and it is not all about going to the pub! We are running numerous drop-in sessions to allow people to meet the committee and get answers to any questions they may still have.

Upcoming drop-in sessions

  • Saturday 18th January, 10am-2pm – Bladon Church Rooms
  • Tuesday 21st January, 6pm-9pm – The White House, Bladon

Spread Our Message Online

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  Like, share and comment on our posts – the more interaction we receive on our posts the more visibility we will get.  Share details of our web site with friends, relatives, colleagues and anyone you know who might be willing to invest. Remember, you don’t need to live in the village to invest.

Twitter – @bladon_pub

Facebook –

Get Involved Directly

Dedicating some time to the campaign is a great way to understand more about what we are doing. It is also a sociable and fun way to meet other local residents while giving something back to your community. 

We still have a lot that needs doing, from organising awareness & fund-raising events, spreading the word through leaflet drops or contributing expertise if you have specific skills.  We need ongoing support in many areas, including:

  • Fundraising
  • Property management
  • Building & renovation
  • Hospitality
  • Legal
  • Accountancy

If you are concerned about time commitment then don’t be, there is no minimum requirement and there are many bite-size opportunities you can support.

Keep Updated With Our Progress and Support Our Events

Sign-up to our email list to receive regular updates on progress and details of future community events which we are planning.

Watch Again – Share Offer Launch!

We had a great turnout at the Jingle and Mingle event on Friday 13th December and took the opportunity to share the exciting news of our share offer launch! Thanks so much to all who came along to join in the fun.

Shares are now available to purchase for you and your family, or as a gift. But if you would prefer to simply donate, we have also opened a new crowdfunder campaign. Whichever way you choose to get involved, time is of the essence. We have just 6 weeks to complete our share offering and make this bid work. The time is now and we need your support!

For those that were unable to make it last Friday, never fear, you can re-watch our latest update and see the official launch of the share offer here –

Share offer open – 13th December 2019 – 31st January 2020

Give a Pub this Christmas, ho, ho, ho!

Stuck for gift ideas again for that ‘hard to buy for’ loved one?

What better way to spread the Christmas cheer than the gift of a share in the Bladon Community Pub! Not only will you be helping to provide a permanent social and community space to gather in, you’ll be preserving a critical piece of Bladon’s history.

To invest, hop over to our Share Offer Application Form *

Then download, print and personalise your very own future share certificate. (Don’t have a printer? We’ll even do it for you!).

Wrap. Place under the tree. See them smile. Feel good. Simple 🙂

Merry Christmas from the Bladon Community Benefit Society!

Download the gift certificate here

*Please note – the rules governing distance and minimum investment will apply to the intended recipient, as outlined in the Share Offer Document