How often have you walked down Myddleton Road and wished it had a proper local pub and restaurant? Somewhere you could pop in for brunch, an evening meal, coffee and cake or just a pint? Somewhere you could hear live music, take part in a pub quiz, check out local artists’ work, or play host to your book club?
Just three years ago, you wouldn’t have to wish: The Step did all of those things and more. That’s why we’re so excited about our plan to bring The Step back to the heart of Bowes Park. And why we hope that you’ll want to get involved in this project.
By buying The Step, we will bring it back into use for the community.
Revitalise Myddleton Road
A better local high street means a better place to live
Strengthen our community
Reopening The Step will revitalise the social and cultural life of Bowes Park, with a new restaurant, a family-friendly venue and events like live music, art exhibitions and pub quizzes.
Provide new facilities
We will add a dedicated room for local groups to meet and encourage hot-desking in the main restaurant space during the daytime.
It was at the centre of the regeneration of Myddleton Road, serving not just as a pub, cafe and restaurant, but as a community venue. Its music events, quiz nights and art exhibitions drew people from across the community, in addition to its hosting numerous clubs – from books groups to photography enthusiasts.
In March 2020, The Step closed as the owners sold the property and moved away from the area due to family circumstances.
The property was purchased by a property developer who applied for planning permission to change the use of the ground floor from a pub to flats. This was met by hundreds of objections from the local community. Unfortunately, by this time, the developers had gutted the property by removing the kitchen, bar, furniture and even plasterwork.
We will not run the business ourselves, as we believe that it would be far better for an established restaurateur or publican to do this. However, the terms of any tenant lease would ensure the new business would serve the interests of the community. Our goals are to:
We have engaged the local community with over 500 people responding to an online survey, with 266 making investment pledges totalling £177,000. The Step was a much-loved element of the local area, and there is a huge demand to once again have such a resource at the centre of the community.
Six local hospitality businesses have already expressed an interest in becoming a tenant, which we believe shows the project’s feasibility. These tenants have mainly approached us, rather than us approaching them.
We have already received over half the funding we require, in grants from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Community Ownership Fund. We are now inviting the community to make the project happen by buying shares.
It would be far more than a pub or restaurant: it would be a community hub in an area which really needs one. And you can decide how profits are spent locally.
By owning the building, we will make money from renting it to our tenant, and our members will decide how some of the profit can be used to benefit the community.
We want to hear how the community would like profits to be used, but our initial ideas include:
Our share offer document contains information on our legal structure, funding and financial forecasts, Q&A, details on our management committee, risk mitigation and other important information.
Download the share offer document and other important information below.
Our share offer opens on 20 February 2023 and closes on 19 March 2023 unless the maximum target is achieved earlier. The Management Committee reserves the right to extend the offer period if it believes it will help achieve the funds required.
The Community Shares Standard Mark is awarded by the Community Shares Unit to offers that meet national standards of good practice.
For more information about community shares, the Community Shares Standard Mark and the Community Shares Unit go to communityshares.org.uk.