Southwark charity buys Simon the Tanner pub

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Sunday 24 March 2013 10.58am
Seems they are quite active, what with the Wheatsheaf and the Market Porter as well.

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Sunday 24 March 2013 6.42pm
Hi

I do hope we are seen as active in our local community as you suggest. When I first became a trustee we were giving away 125k per year and this has risen steadily to this year where we will be giving 600k of grants into our own local community. My fellow trustees are an amazing group of local people who have a lot to give to our area.

As one of the oldest charities in Southwark, founded in the reign of Henry VI and given our Royal Charter by Henry VIII we have a serious commitment to supporting local people in Bermondsey and Old Southwark. We own an interesting mix of local assets including our almshouses, pubs, shops and properties, but we are still trying to expand this locally so we can help shape our local area.

Buying a pub may seen strange to some, but it is both a community asset and an investment that funds our grant giving programme. We'd quite like to buy some more if that means we can stop them just being turned into housing at the expense of loss of local meeting spaces. There is probably a better way in which we can develop the housing element but preserve the licensed premises that mean that we can all go somewhere to meet. If any more come on sale then please let us know. We need to stop the loss of our local pubs.

We are just opening our next small grants round - www.ustsc.org.uk - and hope we will get a good submission from local groups who want to run summer events.

I'm particularly please that we're funding scout groups locally and I know that some guide and brownie groups intend to apply - these are some of the groups that receive least support because they're not "fashionable" but which do great work in our local community and in giving local young people a focus.

Tim


Cllr Tim McNally
Chair of Finance & Property
United St Saviour's Charity
www.ustsc.org.uk

020 7525 7157
07903 967 809
Monday 25 March 2013 10.24am
Well, I for one am rather pleased about this. The endless rotation in StheT has been disappointing and it would really be nice to be sure that it will remain as a pub. What about a venue for Book Club? How does it work? The charity puts in a manager or what?
Monday 25 March 2013 11.00am
Prior to the current manager Simon the Tanner was seemingly being run into the ground, however under the current manager - and I think they've been there for at least two years or so now -Simon the Tanner is extremely well run and very friendly - they have great beers on tap and a small but perfectly formed menu. They have regular quiz evenings and [I think] a pianist that comes in weekly.
I have no connection other than being a happy customer!
Monday 25 March 2013 11.04am
I thought prior to its reopening a couple of years ago, STT had been closed for several years?

Anyway, very good little pub, definitely one of my favourites in the area for a quiet drink.
Monday 25 March 2013 1.03pm
Guy's street wrote:
I thought prior to its reopening a couple of years ago, STT had been closed for several years?

It wsa closed, but then had a (or possibly more than one) short period of being open (except that it appeared to be "open" in the sense of the door being open, rather than "open" in the sense of someone trying to make a decent go of it. There was speculation at the time that the hidden agenda was to prove that the pub wasn't viable, in order to support a residential planning permission to turn it into flats. I think there are probably old threads on here that give the full story, if you're interested).

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 25 March 2013 1.45pm
timmcn wrote:
We own an interesting mix of local assets including our almshouses, pubs, shops and properties, but we are still trying to expand this locally so we can help shape our local area.
Buying a pub may seen strange to some, but it is both a community asset and an investment that funds our grant giving programme. We'd quite like to buy some more if that means we can stop them just being turned into housing at the expense of loss of local meeting spaces. There is probably a better way in which we can develop the housing element but preserve the licensed premises that mean that we can all go somewhere to meet. If any more come on sale then please let us know. We need to stop the loss of our local pubs.

Very worthy, but disingenuous, Tim. St Saviours appear to be behaving more like developers in their activities. It is rather misleading to suggest that their main desire is to preserve 'local' meeting places in the form of viable pubs, when the main opportunity in which St Saviour's are interested is the potential for development of residential spaces above such properties, for the private market.
Monday 25 March 2013 4.23pm
Actually in the case of Simon the Tanner we bought the pub after someone developed the upstairs as housing and sold it off, so clearly that's not what we're intending
Monday 25 March 2013 5.12pm
timmcn wrote:
Actually in the case of Simon the Tanner we bought the pub after someone developed the upstairs as housing and sold it off, so clearly that's not what we're intending

Good. So, presumably the return on your investment must already be favourable. STT has been transformed over the last few years with a good range of ales and food, and is well liked and popular again. In the current difficult trading conditions, the pubs with a USP are the most likely to survive, so I imagine there are quite a few locals apart from myself hoping that STT continues with it's successful 'formula' because of the change of ownership, not in spite of it.
STT
Monday 25 March 2013 5.19pm
Hi everyone,
Julie from Simon the Tanner here. St. Saviours have bought the freehold of the building , myself and Nigel still own the lease and plan to do so for the foseeable future, so there will be no changes in the running of the pub itself.
Thanks for all your positive comments.
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