TWENTY-NINE struggling, closed down and derelict pubs have been saved across the East Midlands thanks to an innovative scheme.
The initiative has seen an £11.5 million investment by Everards – a family owned brewery in Leicestershire – in pub infrastructure across the region.
Over the past decade the East Midlands has become at hotbed of microbrewing talent. Everard’s has bought failing pubs and is leasing them to new local microbrewers and “real ale champions” to run as they wish.
The scheme – named “Project William” after the founder of Everard’s brewery has created 300 jobs so far. The Campaign for Real Ale has given the scheme the prestigious Bill Squires Award for its work supporting microbrewers, championing cask ale and reviving pubs. It is the first time the award has been presented in more than ten years.
David Brown of Brown’s Ales believes that the surge in microbreweries will continue
Twenty nine pubs have enrolled in the scheme; 15 were closed before becoming involved in the project and 17 have gone on to win CAMRA pub of the year awards.
“I think it’s great, to see a pub struggling and now be so popular and also be so supportive of CAMRA and the community as a whole .” Carl Brett – CAMRA East Midlands
Presenting the award at Nottingham’s Sir John Borlase Warren pub, CAMRA East Midlands regional director Carl Brett said: “We have seen Project William develop and grow right across our region. We see how this scheme supports microbrewers and gives pub customers a fantastic choice of local ales in pubs that may not still be going without it. Our members felt that this commitment needed to be recognised and we are pleased to present it to Everards.”
Carl Brett of CAMRA thinks that the award will attract more punters