After many months of campaigning to save it, a much-loved Brighton pub has been sold to a couple who want to turn it into an arts hub to replace some of the city’s lost performance spaces.
Julian Arthur and Kassia Zermon, who help run arts collective Beatabet, bought the Rose Hill Tavern earlier this month for £385,000, and now want to set up a recording studio, art studio and performance space in the former boozer.
The pub has been closed since May last year, when it was sold to local developer Evenden Estates by Enterprise Inns, which sparked its listing as an asset of community value, the refusal of plans to convert it into flats, and then a campaign to buy it.
The campaigners, the Rose Hill Tavern Action Group, said they managed to raise £320,000, about £45,000 short of the asking price. But the ACV listing has clearly put off developers wanting to turn it into housing, leaving the way free for Mr Arthur and Ms Zermon to realise their plans – which have the approval of the group.
Julian and Kassia said: “We are concerned that some of the more interesting and influential arts and music spaces have disappeared in the Brighton area over the last decade and we would like to help to stop this trend by creating a new hub.
“We belong to an extended local network of artists, musicians, photographers, creative work shop leaders and performers and we would like to set up a space that can help contribute to the configuration of the London Road area.”
Group activist Richard James welcomed the pair’s plans and said the group was helping them set up the venue. He said: “We’ve met them, and we are helping them. They need fridges, stalls etc for the venue.”
The events planned for the arts centre include extended artists residency programmes, events, exhibitions, performances, live music, community activities and a variety of creative work shops.
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