Clubs Campaining

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Definition of a Club

The following definition of a club is taken from CAMRA's Definition of a Pub and other licensed premises (v3.4).

For the purposes of CAMRA’s definition, clubs are private members’ clubs with a membership list, operated for the benefit of their members. These are licensed establishments where entry requires either a membership fee to have been paid or possibly a per visit temporary membership fee for guests. The primary categories are social, working men’s, ex-servicemen’s, political, religious, student unions and sporting (e.g. cricket, rugby, football, golf, bowling, etc.). Clubs may operate under a full premises licence, or a clubs premises certificate or, in some cases, both types of licence but, if a given club is a private members’ club and it falls within the range of categories indicated, then it is a club for the purposes of this definition.


  • To further qualify the definition, clubs are private members’ clubs, operated for the benefit of their members, whilst the premises may not be owned by the members. Operated means that the operations of the club is governed by its members, typically a committee, although the actually running of the club may be performed by salaried staff, e.g. a club steward and a team of bar staff.
  • Many ‘sports clubs’ e.g. golf centres, are commercial sports centres and should be considered as such rather than as private members’ clubs.
  • Licensed premises that might have the word ‘club’ in their name but which operate under a full premises licence and allow entry to the public, but operate a loyalty club for members with benefits such as discounts, are pubs and not clubs.
  • Proprietary clubs owned by an individual or business with a view to making a profit, rather than existing for the benefit of their members, fall within the category of 'Other Drinking Establishments'.

Definition of Community Clubs


As virtually all clubs by their very nature are Community Clubs - in fact it is far harder to find a club that is not embedded in a community. However if we are to campaign for them, then CAMRA needs a definition.


A Community Club “mutual or proprietary whether it be social, workplace, sporting, interest, religious, profession, cultural, or political holds a Club Premises Certificate, serves draught beer (or cider) whether real ale or not. Encourages social interactions among their members (and guests) and very importantly puts something back into the communities it serves”.


  • “Community.” Does not necessarily mean a group of people living in a specific geographical location. A community is a group of individuals with something in common or of mutual interest, something that enables them to identify one with another. Communities have a capacity for mutual care and support in distress or when problems arise.
  • Serves draught beer (or cider) whether real ale or not.
  • “Encourages social interactions.” Means discussions and conversation between members (and guests). Could be helped by seating layout or making member associate/pass schemes easily available.
  • “Puts something back.” Means offer some facility or undertake some action, which is of benefit to a community, without any motivation based on direct financial benefit only to the club e.g. a rugby club supporting a junior girls team or factory club paying for a retired workers outing.