There has been a significant decline in the number of pubs in rural areas of the UK in the past decade. The disappearance of these places has a dramatic impact on rural communities, as village and rural pubs work as a network tier for the entire area by providing opportunities in terms of community engagement, business connections and employment. The study presented in this paper investigates issues related to the decline of pubs in Cumbria, North West of England. The authors examine data gathered from secondary sources and primary research, including interviews with pub owners, managers and customers. This enables detailed analysis of factors of success and failure including initiatives taken by communities to conserve their pubs. Combining a community focus with economic and entrepreneurial approaches presents the value of village pubs in a new light, offering suggestions for alternative means of supporting them. Results indicate that more active involvement from local communities and public sector bodies is required to ensure the future of pubs and other rural assets that provide value to their communities.