Campaigners behind a bid to make The Cardigan Arms Leeds’s first community-owned pub are asking locals to invest £100 each to turn it into the hub of the community.
Dozens of people attended the official launch of the crowdfunding campaign at the Grade II-listed Kirkstall Road pub on Friday night, which aims to raise £300,000 by the end of May.
The Cardigan Arms, one of Britain’s top 250 Heritage Pubs, has been put up for sale by current owners Greene King.
One of the people behind the community buyout bid, Chris Hill, said:
“The pub was heaving in the ‘80s and early ’90s but in recent years has fallen on hard times, with no landlord commitment and a series of tenants passing through. The Cardy has a following throughout Leeds, people who remember it for the music, sport and general warm atmosphere. That is what we want to take it back to.
“‘Saving’ the Cardy is more that keeping it open. There will be other bidders for the pub; some wanting to turn all but the ground floor into flats.
“We want to save it as a community pub, the first in Leeds and one of the first urban co-operatively owned pubs in the country.”
The Cardigan Arms was left under several feet of water alongside many other businesses in Burley when the River Aire broke its banks on Boxing Day 2015.
Why you should get involved
Investors will become co-op members with voting rights as well as being commemorated within the building.
The co-op has partnered with community pub company Mood, with each putting in £300,000 to buy and refurbish the pub, and Mood giving the co-op the option to buy them out within the next seven years.
How you can get involved
You can make a donation by going to the Cardigan Arms Community Pub campaign’s Crowdfunding page.