Title: Diversification in rural pubs: a strategy for survival and community value?

Authors: Guy Lincoln

Addresses: Leeds Metropolitan University, City Campus, Leeds LS1 3HE, UK

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the challenges facing pubs in rural locations. There is currently a good deal of concern about rural businesses in general and pubs in particular, which are seen as being under severe threat with many businesses closing each year. The issue of the closure of these businesses is compounded by the loss of the additional value that they bring to their local communities. This paper reports on research to examine the conditions in which rural businesses are operating and to examine the possibilities offered by a strategy of diversification in this context. The outcome of the research is twofold. First, to make judgements about whether diversification is a realistic strategy for these pubs and second, to determine how they can be supported to maximise the success of their attempts to diversify. The findings show support, from all interested parties, for the possibilities of diversification. They, however, do introduce one or two notes of caution concerning the climate required to increase the likely success of any diversification strategy and the development and support required by licencees of rural pubs before they are able to undertake the activity effectively.

Keywords: rural economies; pubs; diversification; licencee skills; strategy; rural business support; public houses; UK; United Kingdom; small business.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2006.009279

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2006 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.329 - 347

Published online: 15 Mar 2006 *

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