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Developers cancel plans to turn London’s Black Cap into a cafe

Joseph McCormick July 21, 2016

Campaigners to have London’s Black Cap re-opened as an LGBT+ venue have won at least a small victory, as developers have pulled out of the project.

The London’s pub was built in 1889, and was one of London’s oldest continually operating LGBT venues, after it became popular with gay men in the 1960s.

The Black Cap in Camden earlier this year had its Asset of Community Value status upheld at appeal.

The pub closed its doors in April after a battle over a proposed redevelopment which lasted several months.

The plans for the future of the building had been with protests to ensure its future as a gay venue, and Ruth and Robinson announcing plans to take over the venue.

It was going to be turned into a cafe called Hollenbecks by Ruth and Robinson, which announced it was pulling out of the project yesterday, after signing a 25-year lease at the site.

Managing director Sarah Weir told the Camden New Journal: “We are unfortunately going to have to take our investors and their money, and my time and energy, and invest it somewhere else.”

Twelve squatters occupied the site earlier year – but it was later revealed that the potential new owners plan to lease it to café chain Breakfast Club.

The nominators, the Camden LGBT Forum, celebrated that the whole venue had been protected with ACV status.

It was understood that the appeal had asked for the space protected by the ACV be reduced to protect only part of the venue, opening the way for redevelopment.

Nigel Harris, of the Forum, earlier this year told PinkNews: “I am thrilled with our nomination being upheld. Everyone at Camden LGBT Forum and WeAreTheBlackCap has worked very hard to fight the appeal. Despite the appellants top team of lawyers the community message came through.

Mr Harris warned, however: “The fight isn’t over. The next step is to convince the existing owner that the sale is no longer viable. Considering the ACV status we believe the best course of action for everyone is to reopen the venue as soon as possible. So many of us have lost our family. A place to be ourselves. A place to meet others. With potential patrons queuing up to buy a drink there is no fear of financial viability – so we call on Kicking Horse and Faucet Inns to reopen the Cap as soon as possible.

Earlier this year, cafe chain the Breakfast Club pulled out of redeveloping the venue into a site of one of its cafes.

The campaign to re-open the venue as an LGBT+ space, hopes to find sympathetic investors who will take note of the venue’s history.

More: acv, asset of community value, black cap, Camden, London, ommunity, pub

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