Village pubs need more than traditional festive visits by locals to ensure their survival throughout the year, according to a Cotswolds hospitality specialist.
Peter Brunt, hotels director at Colliers International, is urging communities to support their village pubs all year-round, and not just at Christmas or when they are under threat of closing down altogether.
“My festive message would be: ‘Pubs are not just for Christmas’ - they want your company all year round!” he said.
“This is a subject I am really passionate about. Many people only seem to want to pop in for a sherry at Christmas, and expect their local to be open with a roaring fire a hearty welcome and all the trimmings,” he said.
“It will be - if the local people have supported it through the year. People need to pop in for a pie and a pint on a rainy Tuesday evening to keep our publicans going.”
The Cotswolds property veteran was commenting following news that a number of well-known West Country pubs now seem likely to have been saved from closure or the threat of it.
The Packhorse near Bath has been brought back into the public realm following a high profile public campaign, while the Full Moon at Rudge has been bought by a local publican as a ‘community asset’.
Peter Brunt said: “While it’s great to hear the Packhorse at South Stoke near Bath has been saved thanks to a mammoth effort from locals, fundraisers and supporters, the fact is too many village pubs end up in difficulties because the locals don’t become regulars.
“Country pubs are businesses – and if people do not support them they will give up the fight and shut down for good.
“Having a quality local pub in the community reportedly boosts property values by around ten per cent – so they are community treasures and worth hanging on to!”