Join the Campaign: How You Can Support The New Clarence Community Pub

November 18, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

The New Clarence - Hull's Community Pub

Start simple - just a few minutes of your time.

You can be a part of something extraordinary! Start now by helping to by spread the word and you'll have made a valuable contribution; share this with at least one friend. Learn about the exciting plans we have for The New Clarence Community Pub and contribute your ideas to the conversation by completing our 5 minute survey.  We're at the feedback this is giving us, and it's already helped us to secure £10,000 worth of professional advice to help us along the way!

Building momentum.

Some of you will want to get more involved; if you have professional skills you could help us with, or if you can volunteer to take a more active part in the campaign, you can tell us in the survey. Some of you will have questions about buying shares or otherwise supporting us financially, you can cover those things too. If you have questions we'll do our best to answer them, though some will take longer than others as we are still formulating fundraising and business plans etc.

Your Privacy.

We will not share or sell your info to any third parties unless presented with a legal warrant / court order, in which case we will supply only the minimum demanded. Any emails we send to you will have an unsubscribe link, which will stop any further communication.

Help us to create Hull's first community owned and managed pub simply by firstly taking a couple of minutes to join the conversation about what it could be.

The Importance of Saving Local Pubs

November 17, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes

blank pub sign - not a community pub!

Part Of A Community History

Preserving the legacy of a local pub is more than a nostalgic endeavor; it's about honouring our community's history and tradition. The New Clarence Community Pub was originally four seperate buildings but it has been a single building for over a century. From 1914 to 1968 the building was used as a Co-operative grocery store and from 1975 to 1983 it was a Co-operative meeting Hall.  It was in the 80s that it was converted to a pub to replace the original Clarence across the road. So, although not always a pub, the building that houses the New Clarence has served the public in one way or another for generations.

The Threat to Traditional Pubs

Over recent years many local pubs have closed, in Hull and beyond, due to changing economic circumstances. According to the Office for National Statistics, we lost 23% of our pubs between 2008 and 2018. Many of these were smaller, local pubs, closed down as the big corporate owners remodelled their estates with fewer, larger, (more profitable?) establishments. It feels at the moment as if the same is happening again. The loss of these social hubs means losing places that bring communities together, impacting community cohesion, social interaction, and the overall well-being of both the community and the individuals that make up that community. As ever some will feel the loss more than others - but why should anybody have to feel any loss?

Community Ownership - for the long term

Community ownership of The New Clarence will position it to ride out the vagaries of a sometimes volatile economy. Of the 350 or so community pubs already established in the UK, a handful have been brought back into private ownership, but none - not one - has closed. The combination of a healthier financial model and a core of customers with a genuine interest and sense of ownership of their shared space transforms a pub's chance of survival and development.

Your Chance to Contribute

You can help us to create Hull's first community owned and managed pub simply by firstly taking a couple of minutes to join the conversation about what it could be.

"More Than Just a Pint: Community Pubs and Social Inclusion"

November 16, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

At The New Clarence Community Pub, we believe that a pub is more than just a place to enjoy a pint. It's a hub where stories are shared, friendships are formed, and a sense of belonging is fostered. We aim to be a beacon of social inclusion, welcoming people from all walks of life to come together and create lasting memories.

A Welcoming Space for All

Walking through our doors, you'll find an inclusive environment that promotes the variety of events and activities we host. From family-friendly gatherings for special events to one-offs that celebrate our local talent, we offer something for everyone. Many different groups have used our shared space in the past, and we hope to build on that in the future.

Our community extends well beyond the walls of the pub. Our customer research shows a remarkably spread out community from all over the city and it's suburbs, and even beyond. Other people's research shows how community pubs encourage conversations that lead to understanding different perspectives, and building a stronger, more tightly-knit community.

Join Us in Celebrating Our Community

You can help us to create Hull's first community owned and managed pub simply by taking a couple of minutes to join the conversation about what it could be.

"A Pub for the People: How Community Ownership Empowers Us"

November 15, 2023 - Reading time: 3 minutes

We're stronger together at The New Clarence

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a piece of your local pub? At The New Clarence Community Pub, we believe in the power of collective ownership and how it enriches our sense of community. It's more than just having a stake; it's about having a say in the future of our favourite watering hole.

Community Ownership vs Conventional Ownership

Community ownership of a pub fundamentally changes it's dynamics, both financially and socially. Let's look at the financial aspect first. Most pubs are owned by a Brewery or Pub Company. The New Clarence was owned by a Pub Company (PubCo for short). PubCos are essentially property managers. They own a huge number of properties, and rent them out to publicans who are then responsible for building their own business in those premises. At the end of the day, no matter what they might say to the contrary, PubCos are only interested in how much their property portfolio is earning for the shareholders. Rents are based not on the value of the property, but on how much the PubCo think it should be turning over - and I mean turnover, not profit. If a pub falls on hard times, often the PubCo will consider selling it. This is what happened to The New Clarence almost a decade or so ago, and it was sold from one PubCo to another not once, but six or seven times, with none of the new owners investing anything in essential maintenace. This is often the case; rather than investing in a pub when it's needed, a PubCo is far more likely to sit back and wait for it to start showing higher turnover. At that point they will A) pay for a refurbishment project and B) put the rent up...

But, if the pub is *owned* by the community - there is no rent to pay! Fixed overheads are therefore lower, and the pub will be free of any tie forcing it to buy stock through the PubCo. This makes a significant difference to the pub's viability. Also, the pub's biggest single overhead, the wages bill, can also be reduced because community pubs often benefit from volunteers padding out the rota around the employed staff.

Stronger Together

Releasing a pub from the grip of a PubCo brings more than just financial advantages.Collective ownership empowers us as a community. We have a stake in the success of our pub, motivating us to contribute ideas, volunteer, and use it's facilities to ensure its long-term viability. Moreover, it's a responsible choice. Together, we can uphold values that matter most to us, steering our pub in a direction that aligns with our community's needs, fostering an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and heard. If you choose to buy a share in the pub you're investing not only in a physical space but in the idea of togetherness. You're saying yes to a community-centric approach where each opinion matters and where we share a human focussed experience rather than just a commercially oriented product experience.

You can help us to create Hull's first community owned and managed pub simply by taking a couple of minutes to join the conversation about what it could be.

The New Clarence -"the beating heart of a community".

November 14, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Sunday afternoon community at The New Clarence

At The New Clarence we set out to be a genuine community pub, with a range of activities and events that appealed to people across our vibrant city. It was more than just a place to grab a drink; it's where connections were forged, friendships blossomed, and memories were made. 

The New Clarence hosted all sorts of community activities: music events, meetings for clubs, charities,business colleagues and trade unions to name a few. We had local history talks, science talks, and comedy nights. We ran workshops for comedians and actors and provided space for groups ranging from adult fans of Lego, through Tolkien fans to poets and barber shop choirs. In the words of our customers The New Clarence was "the beating heart of a community", "a heartbeat space" and a place that "offered so much to many people".

The pub may be closed now, but there is a chance to re-open it, as a community owned and managed enterprise with that sharing philosophy at it's heart and the opportunity to build a successful community pub that works for the people of Hull.

This is the first of a series of five brief blog posts intended to help you discover how a community-owned pub fosters togetherness and amplifies the spirit of our local community, whilst re-writing the financial prospects for a pub business (especially in difficult times). 

In the second of these posts I'll talk about how community ownership empowers both the business and it's customers - and their community. In post three, I'll look at community pubs and social inclusion, before moving on in post four to the wider importance of saving local pubs. If you're still with us by post number five, (I hope you will be!), I'll look at how you can help us to make your community pub a reality (hint; it's not just about money!).

You can help us to create Hull's first community owned and managed pub simply by taking a couple of minutes to join the conversation about what it could be.

The New Clarence Community

October 3, 2023 - Reading time: 2 minutes

This 30 second video shows The New Clarence's strength as a community pub - and it's past weakness. 

The video shows a simple map representing where we know our supporters are, zooming out to cover an expanding area. In doing so it shows that rather than serving a core community living in close proximity to the pub, it served a much wider community coming from all across the city and beyond.

The data was collected from our supporters survey conducted in September / October 2023. Analysis of the responses show that there are a few people represented on this map who used the pub primarily for pre-theatre drinks and food, but they are a minority. Others travelled from all points of the compass for events such as comedy nights, history talks and other events either in the function room or the main bar. Most indicated that they also appreciated our well-kept real ale offer too...

Help us to improve our research