Work from pub: The potential for co-working spaces in rural English pubs to improve business and community resilience

Deville, Jane, Price, Liz, Ellis-Vowles, Victoria and Bosworth, Gary (2023) Work from pub: The potential for co-working spaces in rural English pubs to improve business and community resilience. In: 3rd European Rural Geographies Conference, 26 June to 29 June 2023, Groningen, Netherlands.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


Between 2000 and 2017 the number of pubs in the UK declined by 26% and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this, with six pubs demolished or converted each week. For rural areas the loss of pubs has been felt particularly strongly given the important role they play in rural hospitality and gastronomy, community cohesion and wellbeing. At the same time the pandemic has prompted a shift towards home and remote-working and the demand for co-working spaces has increased. Offering co-working spaces in rural pubs may help to reduce their vulnerability and strengthen community-orientated networks and the sense of identity within rural communities.

This research uses face-to-face visits to pubs to better understand the barriers and enablers of providing co-working spaces to remote and home-workers. By talking to pub landlords, co-workers and the wider community is explores the validity of co-working as an opportunity to help rural pubs innovate and diversify their income and considers the implications for rural community resilience and meeting the needs of post-pandemic ways of working.

The project focuses on the potential of pub co-working from a managerial, as well as a customer and community perspective to assess how pub ownership models (managed, tenanted, freehold and community owned) influence the motivation of managers to innovate and introduce new initiatives such as co-working space. The findings and lessons learned are distilled into a ‘Rural Co-working Pub Toolkit‘ which provides practical guidance to the pub industry, rural pub managers and those working in rural community development.

Keywords:Rural economy, Public House, urban-rural digital divide, remote workers, Coworking
Subjects:L Social studies > L721 Economic Geography
N Business and Administrative studies > N221 Hotel and Catering
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:55394
Deposited On:19 Jul 2023 09:41

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