At the weekend we visited the Ivy House pub in Nunhead – a pub which has been taken over by the local community.
It was suddenly closed by its previous owners (a ‘pub-co’) and sold to a property developer who intended to end its days as a pub and convert it to residential use.
The local community had other ideas: it is now the first co-operatively owned pub in London, and possible the first pub in the UK to be bought for the community under the provisions of the Localism Act and its ‘community right to bid‘ (note not right to buy, which the government misleadingly calls it at times’).
£1m was raised in loans and grants and it was purchased from the owner for £810,000.
It is now open and is being imaginatively managed by the community. Let us hope to see more of this.
Of course, this makes it sound easy when the reality is that a lot of work was involved – but it shows that it can be done.