Another bid to save a community pub in Brighton has been launched by residents who want to turn it into the first live music community pub in the country.
The Greys in Southover Street has been put up for sale by Enterprise Inns, the latest in their portfolio to go on the market, following a dip in fortunes after it was served a noise abatement order last year.
However, the pub had already been designated an asset of community value by the city council following an application, which means when it goes on sale the community has six months to raise enough money to bid for it.
And a newly formed group called the Friends of the Greys is now setting up a limited company so it can inform the council of its intention to do this by the deadline of 2 August.
Group member Tamara Carlier said: “To many of us it’s more than just a pub. It’s an asset of community value, a live venue and a second living room where friends meet every day.
“So, we’ve formed a community group to promote and protect our much-loved local. We’re now in the process of creating a limited company (limited by guarantee) so we can let the council know by 2 August that we plan to bid for the pub freehold. That’ll give us six months to raise the funds.
“The pub’s on the market for £450K (that’s £375K + VAT), so it’ll be no mean feat. But we’re determined, and all ready to muck in and do whatever it takes.
“On Tuesday night we met up with Warren Carter – chair of the Bevendean co-operative pub (‘The Bevy’). Who better to share sage advice with us, given the Bevy’s success as Brighton’s first co-operative pub? We left bursting with ideas.
“We’ve also been in touch with Plunkett Foundation to get details on how to proceed. We’re really going full steam ahead with this. We’re hopeful that with the right amount of community backing The Greys can be the UK’s first co-operative live music pub.”
This is not the first group which has formed with the intention of buying a pub under the ACV legislation – but if raises the money and its bid is accepted, it will be the first to succeed.
Groups also formed to save the Rose Hill Tavern and the Horse and Groom, but in the end they were instead sold and leased respectively to landlords who kept them as pubs with live performances.
Another group, Bungaroosh, was formed to stop the development of the Cuthbert Pub in Freshfield Road being converted into flats. Two such applications have been refused, and the group has been awarded money to develop its plans for a community space – although it is no longer solely focused on the Cuthbert as a location.