The co-operative wants to re-open the Bevendean in Brighton and is offering shares from as little as £10. The pub, known as the Bevy, has been leased to the group by East Brighton Trust on a 10-year lease, rent-free for the first two years.
The community group plans to offer real ale and locally-sourced food, as well as a café, meeting room and community kitchen. It aims to eventually produce its own electricity.
It enlisted the help of the Co-operative Enterprise Hub — funded by the Co-operative Group. It has pledged a further £5m over the next three years (2013 to 2015) to the hub.
Warren Carter, a member of the newly-formed co-operative, said: “It will be so much more than just a pub, it will be a village hall with a difference in an area that is in desperate need of somewhere for people to meet.
“We want to create a unique asset and help to make the area a more vibrant, thriving and sustainable place to live.
“Although the investment could provide a return, we want people to view it mainly as a social investment.”
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub’s head of community and co-operative investment Michael Fairclough said: “A well-run pub is an important part of the social fabric of a community.
“Enterprises such as this — operated by a general public increasingly concerned about accountability, transparency and sustainability — are showing how, by working together, communities can tackle some of the unprecedented challenges facing our society, environment and economy.”