Community pub’s plea for help as bills rocket

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Call for help: The Bevy claims to be the UK's only community-owned pub on an estate
Call for help: The Bevy claims to be the UK's only community-owned pub on an estate

Related tags East sussex Finance Social responsibility

The Bevendean Cooperative Pub, claimed to be the UK’s “only community-owned pub on an estate” has called for help to keep its doors open after energy bills rocketed.

A spokesperson for the pub in Brighton, east Sussex, also known as ‘the Bevy’, said it was a “miracle” the pub ever opened, but it has never really turned a profit.

A public meeting will be held at the pub on Saturday 1 July at 2pm to discuss its future.

They said: “We rely massively on our regulars to keep the garden looking stunning, turning the rocket composter, fixing the lights or a broken door, jumping behind the bar to help out when we are busy. Exactly what a community pub should be.

“Despite massive cost cutting and the amazing efforts of Lizanne and her team, it’s becoming a real struggle. Add to this grants drying up, the cost of living crisis and inflation through the roof with people having even less money to pop out for a pint, we are running out of options. Pubs are closing across the country - even Wetherspoons are shutting down branches.”

On average, the Bevy takes just under £22,000 per month in sales. It costs around £10,000 to buy the stock, and its staff bill is around £9,000. This means it lost around £3,000 per month, which was worse in the winter months where sales were lower.

It had around £8,000 in reserves from previous years and grant awards – which, at the current rate, would last the pub around two months unless things turned around.

Bringing people together

So, the pub wanted to bring the community together to see how it could keep the Bevy’s doors open, cut costs and come up with new ideas to bring more people in.

“We are always looking for people to join the committee – or just get involved more,” the spokesperson added.

They continued: “Our free Thursday Family activities are a roaring success but it’s exhausting – and occasionally it would be good to have some funds to hire in entertainers who aren’t chickens! Would you’re company be willing to sponsor these activities? Could a group of parents get together to help run them?

“Post pandemic and numbers are still quite low for our Friday Seniors lunch club where for just £5 you get a meal, pudding and hot drink. Could you help promote it? Sponsor it?

“We held our first Monthly disability disco on Friday and we want this to be a trailblazer, where people with disabilities run the show and the pub with everyone invited. Watch this space."

Community spirit

The spokesperson continued: “We are trying to get monthly health drop-in clinics so people can see a nurse and take pressure of the NHS.

“We have launched a last Saturday morning of the month Meet Me At the Bevy with a range of activities, hosting Bevendean parkrun, breakfast baps and mini plant sales.

“We don’t want the Bevy to be the first and last community pub on an estate. Please come along with ideas on how to help stop that happening.”

An easy way to support the pub, the spokesperson said, was to hire it: “You sing it, we’ll host it!”

Related topics Other operators

Related news

Show more