"ACV status is valuable for anyone running a pub - whether it's tied, managed or a free house."
Pubs play an absolutely vital role in our communities and are something which should be valued, protected and given every opportunity to flourish.
This is something CAMRA truly believes and which lies at the heart of all the tireless campaigning by members across the UK. But I also recognise that pubs are businesses and remaining profitable is vitally important – so here it is publicans: ACV status is good for your pub, providing you want it to remain a pub.
CAMRA recently conducted a survey of licensees in the UK whose pubs had been awarded Asset of Community Value (ACV) status and the results were crystal clear; the vast majority of licensees said that having the status had a positive effect on their business and the way customers view their pub.
101 licensees responded to the survey, with 85 per cent saying ACV status benefited their pub and the same percentage saying customers valued their pub being listed.
So the way people feel about the pub changes when it has ACV status. But what about profits? Well, some 84 per cent of licensees said that the most beneficial aspect of an ACV listing was that people in the community were more likely to feel loyal to the pub and use it more regularly.
With pub-going declining, giving your pub the commercial edge is important. It is clear that ACV status does that, particularly with the added support given by CAMRA and the Department for Communities and Local Government's 'This Pub Matters' window sticker campaign – which gives ACV status the badge of honour it deserves.
For licensees tied to the large pub-companies ACV status provides an added level of protection, something which is much needed as some pubs really are being sold from under landlords' feet.
A concerned local called CAMRA recently to say their local pub would soon be pulling its last pint, after the pub company who own it gave the licensees just nine days notice before the building would be handed over to a property developer for conversion into a private residence despite outcry from the surrounding community.
ACV status is valuable for anyone running a pub - whether it's tied, managed or a free house – as it is there to protect the pub from unauthorised demolition or conversion to other uses and is clearly seen as evidence that the community values the business.
If you own a pub as a free house and decide you want to sell it as a going concern then ACV status does not affect the sale in the slightest. In fact I'd argue it's a sign to any would-be purchaser the pub is valued by the community and is therefore a solid investment. The only time ACV status slows down a sale is when a pub is being sold for conversion: something which I make no secret of CAMRA opposing when it is clear that the pub is valued by the local community.
The current planning system is quite simply not adequate, as it allows pubs to be demolished, or converted into convenience stores or betting shops without planning permission, without the involvement of those people living nearby.
How can that possibly be fair? ACV status not only provides pubs with a badge of honour, it also gives them the planning protection they so desperately need.