The clock is ticking for campaigners to save an historic pub near East Croydon Station, with less than three months to raise the money to buy the building from its current owners.
The Glamorgan on Cherry Orchard Road has been standing empty and neglected for more than four years, but the developers who bought the site have abandoned their scheme to demolish it and replace it with a 10-storey block of flats.
Because the pub had been granted the status as an Asset of Community Value by Croydon Council, the owners, Hounslow-based developers Butlers Walsall, have to give a residents’ campaign group first refusal on purchasing the 180-year-old building.
And the Save The Glamorgan campaign has already set up a Community Interest Company, Glamorgan Phoenix Ltd, as well as securing “significant help and advice” from a foundation with experience in supporting community businesses.
One of the three directors of Glamorgan Phoenix Ltd is Rodger Molyneux, who in 2010 was among a group of Carshalton residents who helped save their local, The Hope, from doom and destruction and turn the venue round to become a multi-award-winning Pub of the Year.
The Save the Glamorgan campaign has its annual meeting next month, when they will be hoping for a big turn-out to boost the funding effort. Under the terms of the ACV, they are working to a fund-raising deadline of December 11.
In a statement issued last night, the Campaign said that it has “secured significant help and advice from the Plunkett Foundation, who are assisting in identifying the optimal way of attracting investment and obtaining grants and other funding in order to finance our bid for the freehold”.
The campaign has also interested two local breweries, Dorking and The Cronx. Last week Cronx vacated their bar premises in Boxpark, expressing the hope of relocating in central Croydon.
The ACV status of the pub has been vital in all this. When Butlers Walsall tried to put The Glamorgan up for auction in June, the council stepped in and stopped the sale because it would have broken the law. The owners of buildings with ACV status must advise the local council of any intention to sell and allow time for the community to make a meaningful bid.
Glamorgan Phoenix was formed in July this year. The council accepted a submission from the company and invoked the six-month moratorium on the sale.
Last month, the company’s directors made an application to the Plunkett Foundation, a charity that supports community ownership of businesses. They have helped a number of communities, both rural and urban, to buy their local pubs and to run them as community enterprises or co-operatives. Plunkett has provided a business advisor, Mark MacTaggart, to develop an action plan.
“If we develop an effective action plan we will be able to apply for further, specialist support,” the Campaigners say.
“We are looking for local residents, and those who have a strong connection to this old pub, to step up and join us on this journey,” the Campaigners say.
“All types of skills and experiences are accepted, including commitment and enthusiasm.”
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