A community share offer has been launched to buy a much-loved Leeds pub to preserve it for locals.
The Cardigan Arms, whose layout and fittings survive mostly intact since it opened in 1896, is one of the UK’s 250 heritage pubs and has been included on the National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
But owner Greene King has put it on the market, prompting locals to form a co-op to buy it as a community pub, to save it from conversion to flats or “gentrification” as a gastro pub.
The co-op says it wants to “ensure this fine pub does not fall into the hands of commercial interests that would see it altered unsympathetically and with no direct community benefit or involvement”.
Upstairs is a 100 capacity events room, two other rooms and a kitchen. At the back is a disused brew house and down in the cellar the shower room for sports teams.
Because the Cardigan Arms is listed as a community asset, the co-op have until the end of May to raise the £295,000 asking price, and have already received a £2,500 bursary from the Plunkett Foundation’s More Than A Pub scheme.
They have also entered a 50/50 partnership with Mood Developments Ltd, which has a track record in pub renovation and will raise the extra sum needed to restore the property its former glory.
On its blog, the co-op says this approach will give the community a say in how the pub operates, provide an asset for a range of community uses, protect a piece of national heritage, provide a steady revenue stream for further investment, and leave the option open for the community to acquire Mood’s share at a later date.
Campaign founder Jim Brettell said: “There is now some reason to believe that large PubCos are interested, possibly for conversion into a gastro pub.
“The message is clear. If people who love this pub, remember what it used to be like and want to have a say in how it looks and operates in the future, the time has come to get behind this exciting community bid and be part of saving something really special for future generations to enjoy.”
Minimum investment is £100, and the co-op hopes to attract 40 “angels” who will be invited to purchase £5,000 worth of shares for a 4% annual return. The maximum investment is capped at £10,000.
Investors will become co-op members with voting rights and will get a 10 per cent discount at the bar.
For more information, visit www.cardiganarms.coop
In this article
- Campaign for Real Ale
- community pubs
- Community share offers
- More Than A Pub
- Plunkett Foundation
- cardigan arms
- end of may to raise
- gastro pub
- have until the end
- may to raise
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories