Pilot project to turn pubs into cinemas, book clubs and craft shops

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A new pilot scheme launched by the Department for Rural Development and Community Development on 25 March will turn pubs in five locations across the country into "community hubs".

"Pubs as Community Hubs" a similar programme in the UK, is designed to use pubs in lush commercial periods for digital hubs, community cinemas, book clubs, arts and craft workshops and for community gatherings.

The VFI, which will select five pubs in Counties Cavan, Kerry, Donegal, Clare and Cork to take part in the pilot, will receive an initial support amount of €50.000.

If successful, the pilot will be implemented across other regions of the Republic. Padraig Cribben, VFI CEO, said once these pilot projects have been completed, VFI members will be offered a "roadmap" on how they can address the upcoming challenges and opportunities faced by rural hospitality industry in the country's five pubs.

"With the Pubs as Community Hubs initiative we want to show how rural pubs can diversify during quiet trading hours by using community cinemas, book clubs, and gathering points for local groups to stay informed," Mr Hannigan said.

Sheila also outlined plans for Sheila and Bryan McKiernan to install a community movie theatre within the new initiative.