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 June 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; further establish your pub as the hub of the community; help to expand your customer base; and 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. But we have 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 11:00am.

Our expectations of venues

Pubs across England are now invited to self-certify as a ‘creativity-friendly venue’ on this webpage. 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 a 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 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 in the community.

To self-certify as a creativity-friendly venue and receive our Welcoming Creativity pack in the post, available for free to the first 100 pubs to register, please complete this short online form.

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 work with the creative groups to support them to meet their needs (access times, storage, other things?)

For pubs looking for a bit more support to get started, on this page you will find a free online and downloadable Toolkit for publicans that also 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.

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

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