Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and European Programmes made the announcement in the Royal Oak in Betws y Coed, whilst launching the Co-Operation Project for Wales.
Funding will support the development of local services in rural pubs through a partnership between Pub is The Hub and Cadwyn Clwyd (the LEADER Local Action Group for Denbighshire and Flintshire) on behalf of the Welsh Government..
Similar projects created throughout the UK have included the provision of shops, post offices and even a cinema club, not only providing an increasing range of services locally, but also providing local employment opportunities.
The project aims to engage with over 90 pubs, with financial support for around 60 that choose to diversify into new services for their communities across eight rural counties; Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire.
The Deputy Minister said:
"I know how successful the Pub is the Hub initiative has been in bringing many important social, economic and environmental benefits to rural communities.
"Pubs, like many small rural businesses can struggle to trade profitably through providing only the pub functions. The training, advice and guidance being offered to pubs and communities through this project will, I am sure, inspire actions to create new income streams to help sustain pubs for the future. These pubs in turn will benefit their local communities by providing essential basic services."
The Co-operation Project is funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which, in turn, is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
John Longden, Chief Executive of Pub is The Hub said:
"The closure of a business in a rural community adversely impacts on the viability of many other businesses leading to a domino-like effect on the collapse of further local services and amenities. Often a rural pub is now the only socially significant business still running in many rural communities. Pub is The Hub is not directly about saving pubs but about supporting them and encouraging them to diversify and support local services in this rapidly changing world."