A crowdfunded bid to save a dilapidated Brighton pub has failed, after a two-year campaign.

Despite raising £150,000 in a drive backed by MP Caroline Lucas, the team behind the Bison Arms campaign in Brighton has been unable to finalise a deal with the outgoing private landlord of the vacant pub in Brighton. 

The crowdfunder was set up initially after a petition to stop Burger King opening at the site, located on Brighton seafront, received 12,000 signatures in 24 hours. It is now unknown what the site will become. 

The campaign was led by the duo behind craft beer shop Bison Beer; Nick Vardy and Jack Cregan, and Bottom’s Rest pub owner Simon Duddington, both based in Brighton.

After 18 months of solicitor action following reaching a “complex deal” with the outgoing leaseholder Whitbread and the private landlord, the news was announced today that the deal had fallen through after failure for the landlord to meet a deadline. 

In an email to supporters, Nick, Jack and Simon, said: “It is our belief that the landlord, despite agreeing to terms on several occasions, never actually wanted to see this deal through.

“On more than one occasion he revisited agreements reached to push further, ultimately playing this game to breaking point.

“It was with heavy hearts that we instructed our solicitor to formally withdraw our offer.”

Simon Duddington explains the decision fully in the video below. 

 

 

Investor funds will now be returned to all that supported the campaign.

The trio continued: “This has been a monumental journey and for all the frustrations and wasted personal time, energy and money, we’ve been fortunate enough to meet some great new people and develop stronger relationships with others. We will now look to the future with lessons learned, ready for a new challenge.”

 

A spokesperson from the leaseholder, Whitbread, said: “The plans and crowdfunding proposals for the Bisons Arms showed real ambition and passion so we share in the disappointment that a deal could not be reached with the landlord.
 
“The proposals were detailed and, as the leaseholder, we worked hard to try and find a solution so we are grateful for the kind acknowledgements made of our support during the legal process.
 
“We wish Simon, Jack and Nick well for their next challenge.”

 

Inapub has been unable to contact the private landlord.