Skip to main content
16th February 2024

Craft Union relaunches ‘Love Your Local’ charity initiative with a million-pound fundraising goal

Craft Union, part of award-winning Stonegate Group, is launching its ‘Make it a Million’ charity initiative as part of the group’s wider longstanding ‘Love Your Local’ programme, that raised in excess of £800,000 for charities nationwide in 2023. Craft Union is proud to support the Stonegate Group charity partner the Motor Neurone Disease Association as well as many local charities.

Since inception Craft Union has placed community values at its core. Its nurturing ethos is rooted in celebrating local pubs that are the beating heart of the communities they operate in and in 2022 the company picked up the national accolade of the Best Community Pub Operator. Known for providing a ‘home from home’ environment, there are now more than 560 Craft Union pubs in the UK.

With community the cornerstone of the CU brand, charitable giving has been a central focus over the years. In 2023, some of the company’s most significant fundraising achievements included the annual December Toy Appeal that raised a remarkable £32,000 for local causes and donated almost 2,000 hampers and sacks of gifts to help create a magical Christmas for those in need. An impressive £60,000 was also donated to local grass roots activities as part of the 2023 Love your Local Craft Union initiative.

One of the most noteworthy fundraisers was spearheaded by The Black Swan in Ripon, who collectively raised more than £48,000 for a local 15-year-old Ukrainian girl who tragically lost her family through an accident.

Frazer Grimbleby, Craft Union Director commented: “A huge thank you to the operators whose hard work culminated in the fantastic £800,000 fundraising total we reached last year. Craft Union is constantly growing and evolving, and we have ambitiously set our sights even higher, with a goal of £1,000,000 for 2024. The excitement and commitment our pubs have for reaching this goal underpins the huge support Craft Union pubs have for their communities and they are a credit to the company.”

For 2024 the Craft Union team has set its pubs the challenge of superseding its 2023 six-figure fundraising with the aim to smash the £1,000,000 mark with the Make it a Million campaign. From the official launch on Wednesday 14th February guests can nominate a community project or local charity for their local CU to support in the year ahead. Nominations will then be open to public voting, ensuring local communities are at the centre of the decision making.

More than 560 causes will be championed in the year ahead through the initiative and the community partners will be announced across the regions from Thursday 21st March onwards.

To find your local Craft Union pub to learn more about the charity nomination and voting process, please click here.



About Stonegate Group

Stonegate Group is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of over 4,500 sites, split across managed, operator led and leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs just under 16,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Popworld, Be At One and the Venues division. Traditional (unbranded) pubs are made up of: Proper Pubs, Pub & Dining and Social Pub & Kitchen.

To date, over 12,000 employees have engaged with the various training programmes Stonegate Group offer, with over 600 Deputy Managers across the estate having been promoted to management roles.

The leased and tenanted estate, Stonegate Pub Partners, is made up of over 3,000 diverse sites whilst operator led Craft Union is currently made up of over 500 community pubs.

The business is multi award-winning for the training and development of its people and business success including:

BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year, multiple times; Best Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATOP). Best Managed Company for Training.

REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards – Best New Wellbeing Strategy (5000+ staff);

Publican Awards – Best Pub Employer (501+ employees) multiple times; Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company) multiple times; Best Managed Pub Company multiple times.

Great British Pub Awards – Best LGBTQ+ operator multiple times; Best Sports Pub multiple times; Best Pub Garden, Best Entertainment; Best pub to watch sport;  Community Mindfulness

Licensed Trade Charity Awards   raising awareness through fundraising

UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards Best Marketing and Promotions Award; Best Service & Team; Best late Night Operator

HR Excellence Awards: Best Learning and Development Strategy

HR Distinction Awards: Innovation for Digital & Social Media; People Development; Innovative Use of Technology

And awards for charity contribution  including  Licensed Trade Charity: Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award; APPBG PUBAID Corporate Charity Fundraiser Award 

Contact: Elisabeth Osmand,

Third-party news items that are posted on the Guild website’s news section come from press releases received by the Guild. These press releases are posted as they have been received and their publication on the Guild website is intended as an informational service provided to our members and website visitors. As such, the publication of a story from a third-party source is neither an endorsement of the content, nor its sender, by the Guild. For enquiries on any news item, please use the contact details that can be found at the bottom of each post.