A women-led arts collective ‘Sister Midnight’, are on a mission to open Lewisham’s first community owned live music venue and pub.
The Ravensbourne Arms is standing empty and unused – one of many pubs in London that is currently unused.
Sister Midnight wants to turn it into a thriving events space with live music and a strong community spirit, a secure venue that isn’t at the mercy of redevelopments and rising rents in the area.
Lenny, one of three directors of Sister Midnight, spoke about the importance of a community owned space in south east London.
“It feels like there’s something really taking root here in terms of the cultural scene… if we don’t preserve these spaces and put power into the hands of the community now, we’re not going to see that same creative culture, and it will be displaced.”
The collective boasts support from the music industry, including local musician Jools Holland and record label Rough Trade as investors.
Vicky Foxcroft, MP for Lewisham and Deptford commented on the project saying: “This is such an amazing opportunity to revive a currently unused venue in a way that puts the community it is based in at its heart and provide exciting cultural opportunities that are accessible to local residents.”
In a recent Instagram update, Sister Midnight said there had been an “influx” of support on their Crowdfunder platform, however the deal is by no means done.
They have approximately £272,000 of their £375,000 target to buy, refurbish and re-open the Ravensbourne Arms.
With Lewisham chosen as the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022, securing the Ravensbourne Arms could be perfect timing.