Is your local pub an asset of Community Value (ACV) ?

The Sheffield Star (27th December) recently commented on the low number of Sheffield pubs which are officially an ‘Asset of Community Value.’ The Localism Act (2011) allowed communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value” (ACV). When pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they are put up for sale in order to consider local options to save the pub.

In Sheffield, there have been only three applications to list a pub as an ACV. The Castle Inn at Bolsterstone was successfully listed in April 2014. The Sheffield City Council (SCC) evaluation document states: ‘This is a commercially viable pub business. However in addition it also facilitates community activities on a regular basis……. the evidence provided shows that the pub provides a number of community uses and that these community uses could legitimately be considered to contribute to its viability ……. it appears that the evidence provided demonstrates that this property’s actual and current use furthers the social wellbeing and interests of the local community and satisfies the statutory tests.’

However, applications to list the Queens Ground (Langsett Road) and the Old Cart and Horses (High Green) were both unsuccessful (August and September 2014). The main reasons seem to be a lack of ‘evidence to paint a picture of a cohesive section of the community centred around the Property’ (Queens Ground). The City Council documentation also mentions that, in each case, there are a number of other pubs available locally.

In contrast, two Derbyshire pubs in the Sheffield CAMRA Branch area have applied for, and are listed as, an ACV. The Angel (Spinkhill) is expected to reopen in the near future and the Anglers Rest (Bamford) is now a successfully-run community-owned local, including a cafe and Post Office.

It is difficult to extrapolate from only three applications. However, it seems that, perhaps, SCC is taking an unduly rigorous line regarding the interpretation of the evaluation criteria. We await, other ACV applications, with interest.

Sheffield City Council documentation: http://tinyurl.com/ls7qkww

CAMRA guide to listing a pub as an ACV: http://tinyurl.com/k4yvdna

–          Dave Pickersgill, Sheffield CAMRA Pub Preservation Officer