A much loved pub in Nunhead is to become London’s first community co-operative public house after local residents saved it from being closed down.
The campaign group Save The Ivy House has purchased the local after a long battle to rescue it from closing.
A statement from the campaign said: “We’re very pleased to announce that we completed our purchase of the Ivy House on Friday. While this has secured the building’s immediate future, we now really need your help to get the doors open again and get it up and running as London’s first co-operative pub and community hub.”
“Completion is just the start – there is much to be done before we can re-open and we need investment from the community to do it. We have just launched our community share offer to enable you to invest in the building’s long-term future and own a stake in the Ivy House.”
The 1930s decorated venue has a rich local history and in the past hosted gigs by Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and Joe Strummer.
Tessa Blunden, the campaign leader, said: “A lot of people have worked really hard on the campaign, and achieving the purchase is great, but this is just a start.”
The Ivy House closed its doors in April 2012 when the owners, Enterprise Inns, put the venue on sale for £ 650,000.
Blunden, a real estate litigation lawyer, started the campaign to save the pub with three local residents; a land management and conservation lead adviser, a freelance writer, and a building adviser.
After the purchase was finalised Blunden stressed the importance of the residents’ involvement.
“We just launched our community share program so residents can become shareholders of the pub, which would be the first community co-operative pub in London. We’re working really hard on that at the moment, we really need community funding to open the doors as soon as possible.”
Save The Ivy House obtained their first victory soon after the pub’s closure, when together with the help of The Peckham Society, the Ivy House was listed as “an asset of community value” by English Heritage.
The Legislation Act of 2011 allowed the campaigners to buy more time, making the site development harder for Enterprise Inns.
However, by October 2012 the Ivy House had been sold and put on the market once again, with the original asking price shot up to £750,000.
The Architectural Heritage Fund stepped in and announced it would offer Save The Ivy House conditional funding for the purchase, plus a working capital loan for start-up costs in December 2012.
To keep up to date with news on The Ivy House, follow their Facebook page and Twitter account.