Friends of the Greys are ready to bid for the freehold currently held by Ei Group – which has set a deadline of 1 February for bids.
The Greys, which has been trading as a public house since 1878, had been put up for sale by Ei after the company behind nearly 5,000 UK sites failed to find a permanent tenant for the pub in Brighton’s Hanover district.
Although the Save the Greys campaign is still short of its overall target of £300,000, additional grants and loan capital secured since the campaign’s launch in December means a viable bid for the East Sussex site can now be tabled.
As part of a final push for funds, one match-funding grant means the current crowdfunding total – plus each and every new contribution – will be worth double to the project.
Friends of the Greys spokesman Keith Farmer said: “Thanks to match-funding, every £1 of shares bought and small donations made will add £2 to the money we have.
“Along with other grants and loans we have lined up, we are confident we can make a serious offer for the business – but every penny counts.
“If anyone has been thinking about buying shares, now is the time to do it. Turning the Greys into a community-owned pub, and protecting and developing this much-loved music venue is a very real prospect.
“The pub could be ours. Now is the time to invest and make sure you’re a part of this exciting project.”
Brighton & Hove Council declared the Greys an asset of community value (ACV) last summer, prompting the start of the campaign by residents of the Hanover area of the city, which has received widespread backing – including support from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and numerous local councillors.
The bid has also received the backing of local pubs – such as Brighton Bierhaus, which raised £500 in a day of fundraising on 20 December.
If Friends of the Greys’ bid is successful, the pub will join an exclusive group of community-owned urban pubs with Brighton already laying claim to the UK’s first community-owned housing estate pub – the Bevy in Bevendean.
For more information on the campaign visit the group’s Crowdfunder website.