Bid to save Brighton pub to run as a co-operative music venue

The Greys has built up a reputation as a popular gig venue and has been listed as an asset of community value

A community group has been formed to bid for a popular Brighton pub and music venue after owner Enterprise Inns put it up for sale.

The Greys pub in Southover Street has built up a strong reputation as a venue, with an emphasis on Americana. It has played host to respected names such as the Panic Brothers and the Coal Porters, as well as British folk stars such as the late Dave Swarbrick, of Fairport Convention fame.

And it has already been designated an asset of community value by the city council, giving newly formed group Friends of the Grey six months to raise the £450,000 it needs to buy it.

The group, which has until 2 August to notify the council of its intention to bid, has already met the team at Brighton co-op pub the Beavendean – the Bevy – for advice.

Folk legend Dave Swarbrick performing at the Greys in 2010 (Photo: aneye4apicture)

They have also spoken to the Plunkett Foundation for advice on how to proceed.

If they succeed, they will join two other successful co-op pubs which offer music venues – Blackburn rock pub the Sir Charles Napier, and the Globe, which hosts Newcastle’s Jazz Co-op.

The UK recently saw its 50th co-op pub open – the Craufurd Arms in Maidenhead – as the movement continues to grow.

Related: Blackburn rock pub among three assets saved by their communities

Jenny Sansom, who leads the More Than a Pub Programme at Power To Change, welcomed the milestone saying: “This is a wonderful milestone, reached through the hard work of communities all over England.

“It is about keeping pubs alive, along with all the great services that the pubs will now host.”

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