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Forum topic: Bowes Park community plea to save pub from developers

A month to raise funds to bring Bowes Park's 'beating heart' back to life

PGC Webmaster

20 Feb 2023 23:13 #6772

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[Original article]

front door of the step in myddleton road

The door that once led into the bustling Step. Inside the building, however, there is total devastation.

A share offer launched today represents the last chance of bringing back to life a bar and community venue that was central to the social renaissance of a faded Victorian high street close to Bowes Park station.

The Save the Step campaign has until 19th March to raise £250,000 through the sale of community shares, allowing it to purchase the building in Myddleton Road that for nine years housed the neighbourhood's foremost social hub until, in 2020, the owners had to sell up and move away for family reasons. The deadline has been set by the current owner, who will otherwise go ahead with plans to convert the building into flats.

Owned by the community for the community

If the campaign is successful, the Step will become north London's second Community Pub, the first being the Antwerp Arms in Tottenham, which was purchased by local people in 2015. Above the bar a plaque reads "Welcome to the Antwerp Arms. Owned by the Community for the Community".

The opportunity to save the Step has come about after the campaigners succeeded in registering it as an Asset of Community Value (as also happened with the Fox in Palmers Green, which reopened last week, but without ACV status might have been demolished or converted for other uses). Their vigorous campaigning has already attracted £250,000 from the government's Architectural Heritage Fund, plus money from Co-operative UK’s Booster Fund.

Why community shares?

Community shares are a form of investment designed specifically for bringing communities together to run local projects.

Of the £250,000 target, £51,000 has already been committed by the Booster Fund, run by Co-operatives UK. The group is now looking to the public to raise the remaining £199,000, every pound of which will be matched by the Government’s Community Ownership Fund grant, which was awarded to the project in December 2022.

Should the money be raised by the 19 March deadline, the funds will be used to buy the building and bring it back into the community’s hands, refurbish it following gutting by developers, and restore it as a central meeting point for locals and visitors alike on Myddleton Road, Haringey’s best preserved Victorian high street.

Community shares allow the public to pool their capital, regardless of size, and invest in doing good for a local community. Everyone who invests becomes a shareholder in the newly created Myddleton Road Community Benefit Society. Once reserves are built up from tenant rental income, shareholders can request withdrawal of their investment. They may also receive small interest payments and can vote on using surplus towards community events and initiatives.

"So close to making this a reality"

Dan Jones, chair of Save the Step, commented, “We are thrilled to formally open our share offer and invite the public to invest in this very special project. Since launching this campaign last summer, we have been overwhelmed by the support from the local community, as well as the investment from the government and Co-operative UK. We are now so close to making this a reality, but we only have four weeks so would urge anyone who wants to be part of this exciting opportunity to act now. For those keen to learn more, please head to our website, get in touch with any questions, or come along to one of our events over the coming weeks."

save the step logo

The share offer and future plans for the Step

In summary, the Myddleton Road Community Benefit Society is looking to meet the following targets:

Targets

  • Minimum target: £200,000
  • Optimum target £250,000
  • Maximum target: £300,000

Our shares

  • Price per share: £1
  • Minimum share investment: £100
  • Maximum share investment for individuals: £25,000

The share offer opened today (20th February) and closes on 19 March 2023 unless the maximum target is achieved earlier.

The plan

The campaigners have a single goal: to purchase the freehold of the building, and refurbish the ground floor as a community pub, cafe and meeting place.

They don't intend to run the business themselves, but to lease the building to an established restaurateur or publican. However, the terms of any tenant lease would ensure the new business would serve the interests of the community. The goals are to:

  • Serve food and drink at a variety of price points
  • Open for a minimum of 6 days per week
  • Host community events and workshops, as well as live music and quiz nights, etc
  • Provide a base for local community groups to meet, at low or no cost

More details

For more details download the three documents from these links:

Share offer document

Business Plan

Society rules

Links

Save the Step website

Community share offer summary information

Taking a Step towards reviving the beating heart of a community (Palmers Green Community 14 December 2022)

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A month to raise funds to bring Bowes Park's 'beating heart' back to life

PGC Webmaster

24 Feb 2023 14:37 #6773

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You can talk to the organisers of the Save the Step campaign at a public meeting in Shaftesbury Hall at 6pm on Sunday 26th February.

More details

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Bowes Park community plea to save pub from developers

PGC Webmaster

15 Mar 2023 17:17 #6794

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"A campaign to rescue a Bowes Park cafe, bar and community space has raised more than £150,000 of investment from the local community in just three weeks.

"The Save the Step campaign aims to prevent developers from repurposing The Step on Myddleton Road, close to Wood Green and Palmers Green, instead buying and reopening it as a community pub. If the campaign raises £250,000 of investment by Sunday, 19th March, the current owner is willing to sell the N22 venue back to the community."

Read the full report on the Haringey Community Press website.

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Success for the Save the Step campaign!

PGC Webmaster

28 May 2023 00:21 #6863

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The Save the Step campaign has been successful in its bid to raise enough funds to buy the premises in Myddleton Road, Bowes Park, that was formerly the home of the Step, a cafe/bar/pub that once played an important community role in the area.

On 25th May Save the Step tweeted:

We have fantastic news - we have just bought The Step! Our purchase completed today and it is finally in community ownership.

With price negotiations behind us, we can now reveal that our share offer smashed its target and raised over £285k! A huge thank you to everyone.

Next up is the (extensive) refurbishment of the building and selection of a tenant to run the new business. More on both of those soon!


The reopened Step will be north London's second community-owned pub. The first was the Antwerp Arms in Tottenham.

Read more about the campaign to Save the Step.

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