Sister midnight has put out an urgent appeal for help amid reports a private buyer has made a rival offer for the leasehold of the Ravensbourne pub.
NME reports that the private buyer has “put in an offer of £700,000” as Sister Midnight battles to raise £500,000 so that it can turn the pub into a community owned music venue.
Sister Midnight extended its crowdfunding campaign until April after a late surge of funding in December. But the group now says it needs to raise a significant amount of money in the next two weeks if it is to “keep its fight alive” and compete with the rival bid.
Sister Midnight says its plans would see the Ravensbourne reopened as a “democratic, not for profit community space.” If it is sold to private owners “there are no guarantees about the future” of the pub.
So far £228,580 has been raised by £100 a share offer on Crowdfunder. Sister Midnight now says it will accept donations from £25 and up “as it is aware that many people will want to help but cannot afford £100 a share.”
Lenny Watson, a driving force behind the project, has said £500K is the minimum needed to move the project forward. NME says it is now unclear “whether the £500k target needs to be increased to compete with private offers.”
Sister Midnight extends fundraising to buy Ravensbourne Arms after late surge of investment
Sister Midnight’s crowdfunding campaign to buy the Ravensbourne Arms and create a grassroots music venue and community owned pub on Lewisham High Street saw a late surge in investment in December. As a result a decsion was taken to keep the crowdfunding campaign going until April 2022.
Lenny Watson, founder, writes:
“We are delighted to have been granted an extension by Crowdfunder, which gives us until 5pm on the April 30 to raise the remainder of our £500K target. After a surge of investment in December, our current total stands at £220K – nearly 45% of our target!
“We’re coming back with a vengeance in 2022 and we’re determined to raise the rest of the funds needed to make Lewisham’s first community owned live music pub a reality. We need everyone’s help to do this – during December we saw a tidal wave of support.
“People were posting about the project on social media, encouraging friends and family to invest, and making a lot of noise about the campaign.
“This is exactly what we need – for local people, local businesses, local community groups to all become champions of the cause and shout about it from the rooftops.
“This kind of support has a huge impact, so we’d really urge local people to do anything they can to spread the word! Keep your eyes peeled for more events, opportunities to get involved, and most importantly please invest if you can! “
Sister Midnight fundraising tops £187K with just three days left in crowdfunding campaign to buy Ravensbourne Arms
Sister Midnight’s campaign to create a grassroots music venue and turn the Ravensbourne Arms on Lewisham High Street into a community owned pub has been gaining momentum.
“We’ve been blown away by the support we are receiving,” says Lenny Watson of the not-for-profit community benefit society set up to buy and run the venue.
Sister Midnight Community Venues, which is aiming to raise at least £500,000 in a share offer, has been “featured in NME, Time Out, BBC Radio London, and even ITV News,” says Lenny.
“We also had the incredible news that we’ve been awarded £100K towards our share offer from Co-operatives UK’s Booster Programme.
“This incredible award has brought our total to £170K, which means we’ve now raised more than a third of our target.”
Co-operatives UK has also offered Sister Midnight “a wealth of business support which means that we’re more confident than ever that the project will succeed”.
Lenny, a driving force behind the project, has said £500K is the minimum needed to move the project forward.
Total costs (purchase costs plus refurbishment) would likely be in the region of £3m. But grants and loans could be raised on the back of the share capital to fund the project.
Lenny says the group “needs as many people in our community as possible to help us spread the word, so we’d encourage everyone to help out by continuing to share the campaign on social media and with friends and family.
“If you can stick a poster up in a front facing window of your house or business, let us know and we’ll get one down to you!
“And even better, if you can volunteer to canvas your street and tell your neighbours about the project, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Sister Midnight has another fundraising gig coming up at the Fox and Firkin on December 4.
“We’ll also be joined by the Quaggy Community Choir for some singing around the firepit in the garden.
“It’s going to be a cosy and festive affair, and all funds raised will support our campaign!”Tickets for the Fox and Firkin gig are available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/save-the-ravensbourne-arms-w-grove-horsey-malady-more-tickets-207159137557