I came across this initiative on the radio earlier today which aims to make “pubs the focal point for community services”. The hope is to rejuvenate both the (rural) community and the (village) pub in the process.
It strikes me that the growth of the freelance economy / portfolio careers / sovereign individuals / flexible workers will bring benefits to rural communities over time (dependent on the availability of fast broadband connectivity). As people become better able to choose where they work, a sizeable number will choose to escape the suburbs for a more rural setting. This might not do much for rural property prices but at least these people will be living in the community rather than solely maintaining a holiday cottage.
Initiatives like Pub is the Hub could recreate the village pub as a hub for these workers, replacing some of the social aspects which individuals working at home will lack. A small investment in Wifi, good coffee and a decent, fast printer could quickly bring about a new community of locals who work all over the world from their local; a truly global village.