Creative Lives is working in partnership with Pub is the Hub and CAMRA on a campaign to encourage pubs and community hubs to open up their available spaces to local creative groups.

The campaign was launched at a special online event in summer 2022, when Creative Lives teamed up with Pub is the Hub and CAMRA, and publicans, landlords and creative groups from across England and Wales.

Why you should get involved

Inviting creative groups - such as arts and crafts groups, writing clubs or music groups - into your pub is a great way to reinvigorate your venue following the pandemic. It can further establish your pub as the hub of your community and help expand your customer base. It can also create a buzz of activity in your pub during traditionally quieter times.

How it might work

We know that many local creative groups are struggling to find suitable venues to meet and practise their creativity together. And we have also heard from publicans across the country that they would welcome groups into their pubs, particularly during normally quiet times. By way of example, a local craft group might welcome the opportunity to meet in your pub for an hour every Tuesday morning at 11am.

Our expectations of venues

Pubs across England are now invited to self-certify as a ‘creativity-friendly venue’. The first 100 pubs to register will receive a free Welcoming Creativity pack in the post! This pack contains a ‘We welcome creativity here!’ window poster, and a ‘creativity-friendly venue’ badge for front doors and behind the bar.

These visual aids will encourage local creative groups to start up conversations about hosting their creative activity at their local pub. The posters are customisable with contact details, opening times - or any other useful information for potential creative partnerships!

In offering your space to creative groups, we ask that you adhere to the following criteria:

  • Provide space for free or at a low cost to local voluntary groups. (In return, it’s fair to expect that the groups will order food and/or drinks.)
  • Strive to ensure that your venue is inclusive and accessible to all of your community.
To self-certify as a 'creativity-friendly venue', be included on our Creativity Map and receive a free Welcoming Creativity pack in the post, please complete this short online form

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Considerations for hosting creative groups

Different groups will have different requirements, but most creative groups’ needs will likely be met by the facilities you already have in place, e.g.

  • Access to sinks for water and washing materials.
  • Some groups might prefer a small space set aside, like a private hire / function room, but others will want their creativity to be visible!
  • A small storage cupboard can be incredibly useful, so that materials don’t have to be carried in every time.
  • Access to an electrical socket and WiFi is helpful for some creative practices.
  • Commit to working with the creative groups to support them to meet their needs (access times, storage etc).

We suggest talking with the groups about their needs, and how these align with yours to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

For pubs looking for a bit more support to get started, the free online and downloadable Toolkit for publicans on this page includes five inspirational case studies of pubs across England already welcoming creative activity. In addition, the Toolkit contains a curated selection of some of the free downloadable Creative Lives briefings, such as: ‘Risk assessment: event management’, and ‘How to write a press release’. You’ll also find ready-made text and pictures to use on social media, to attract creative groups and to promote their activities.

Campaign Toolkit

In order to help publicans and other stakeholders understand and promote the benefits of hosting creative groups in their venues, we've created a toolkit of resources available to access for FREE. This includes:

Video clips from the event hosted with CAMRA and Pub is The Hub [full playlist]:

You can also download the slides from this presentation here.

Full case studies of pubs:

Useful advice from a series of Briefings covering various ways to make your venue more accessible and visible to local community groups:

A campaign initiated and delivered by